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Dallas Tops Rapids 3-2, Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive

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(credit: coloradorapids.com)

(credit: coloradorapids.com)

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — FC Dallas got goals from Fabian Castillo, Jair Benitez and David Ferreira in a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night that kept their faint playoff hopes alive.

Dallas (6-11-8) is 3-2-1 in its last six, including two wins over Colorado, following a franchise-record 13-game winless skid. The victory allows it to leapfrog the Rapids and tie Chivas USA for sixth in the Western Conference standings, seven points behind Los Angeles for the last postseason slot.

Jaime Castrillon and Jeff Larentowicz scored for the Rapids (8-15-1), who are 1-7-0 in their last eight outings and 2-10-0 on the road this season.

Ferreira gave FC Dallas a 3-1 advantage just 4 minutes into the second half with his first goal of the year. Playing his eighth match of the season after missing the previous 14 months with an ankle injury that required multiple surgeries, the 2010 MLS MVP received a nice pass from Castillo and beat Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens with a 10-yarder just inside the right post.

Colorado got one back 6 minutes later on Larentowicz’s third goal of the year. On a free kick in Dallas territory, Martin Rivero quickly fed the ball into the middle for Larentowicz, who boomed a 30-yard blast that just eluded diving Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, ricocheted off the left goalpost and bounced in.

After Castrillon was sent off with a red card in the 71st minute, the Rapids were forced to finish the match with 10 men, but that seemed to motivate them, as they carried the play for much of the next 15 minutes or so.

Larentowicz nearly tied it in stoppage time, just before the final whistle blew, but his 25-yard blast was just knocked aside by Hartman.

Dallas carried a 2-1 lead into the second half after scoring twice within 3 minutes just before halftime.

With the Rapids up 1-0, Castillo evened the contest in the 41st minute with his third goal of the season. He took a pass from Julian de Guzman and weaved his way into the middle before slotting a low 22-yard blast just inside the left goalpost.

Dallas struck again 3 minutes later when Benitez recorded his first MLS goal in his 92nd career match, including five postseason contests. A foul on Castillo by Colorado’s Drew Moor set up a Dallas free kick in the middle about 10 yards outside the penalty area and Benitez unleashed a rocket that sailed over the wall of bodies in front and curled past the diving Pickens into the upper right corner.

Colorado opened the scoring when Castrillon notched his team-leading sixth goal of the year 12 minutes in. Veteran Brian Mullan outraced de Guzman to a loose ball just before it crossed the end line, managing to knife a pass into the goalie box, where Castrillon outbattled Hernan Pertuz to chip it past Hartman just inside the right post.

Only two spectacular saves by Hartman on Omar Cummings in the 34th minute prevented the Rapids from jumping ahead 2-0. Facing Cummings one-on-one, Hartman got a hand on the first point-blank shot, then scrambled back to position to deny Cummings’ rebound attempt.

In his second game back after missing two for disciplinary reasons, Dallas striker Brek Shea was held off the scoresheet despite generating multiple opportunities, receiving credit for four shot attempts and one shot on goal.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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