Aston Villa blanks FC Dallas, 2-0
Aston Villa FC started off its two-city tour of Texas on a positive note with a 2-0 win over FC Dallas in an international friendly on Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium.
Villa's goals came from Andreas Weiman in the 44th minute and a second insurance tally from Charles N’Zogbia four minutes later in the 48th minute off a free kick.
The home side's best chance of the first half came in the 34th minute when Andres Escobar fired a shot high over the Villa goal following some impressive ball work by Dallas central attacking midfielder Mauro Diaz, who was making his first start since a 4-1 loss at D.C. United back on April 26 at RFK Stadium.
Weiman’s goal came after he and Darren Bent found considerable room to operate inside the Dallas third of the field. Bent delivered a perfect pass to Weiman and after two quick touches, he finished with a left-footed shot that Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez got a hand in before it went in.
And in Villa’s second goal, N’Zogbia struck a 19-yard free kick perfectly, sending a bending ball into the upper middle of the Dallas net, a ball goalkeeper Richard Sanchez, who replaced Fernandez in net to begin the second half, was unable to make a play on.
The free kick from just outside the Dallas area was awarded after centerback Nick Walker, making his first start with the first team, took Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor down at the top of the arc.
In the 65th minute, Dallas’ Michel nearly helped his side pull one back when a cross from the left flank was nearly knocked into the Villa net by defender Ciaran Clark. However, Clark’s ball instead sailed just over the crossbar.
Sanchez delivered a nice stop at close range on N’Zogbia in the 90th minute. Dallas had one final chance to break the shutout in stoppage time when Michel lined up for a free kick from about 30 yards, but his ball sailed high over the Villa goal and the whistle signified the end of the game.
Villa, who were without midfielder Joe Cole and goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who is not currently with the team but is expected to join the club later this week, concludes its quick tour of the Lone Star State on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Dallas, 0-4-3 in its last seven road matches, returns to MLS play on Sunday at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.