FC Dallas 0-2 Villa match report: Weimann/N'Zogbia earn win
Villa started their pre-season tour of USA in impressive style, seeing off FC Dallas 2-0 at the Toyota Stadium.
Goals from Andreas Weimann and Charles N'Zogbia earned the victory for the visitors against a very competitive MLS outfit.
Weimann bagged the opener just before the break, latching on to a fine Darren Bent pass in the left channel before firing home.
Then, four minutes after the restart, Villa doubled their advantage with a brilliantly-taken free-kick.
Gabby Agbonlahor was upended as he flew at the Dallas defence and then N'Zogbia - absent for the whole of the previous campaign with an achilles heel injury - made no mistake with the deadball situation.
The wing ace smashed home from just outside the area, giving goalkeeper Richard Sanchez absolutely no chance.
The result will have pleased boss Paul Lambert - but he will have been equally satisfied with the runout from a fitness perspective as he gears up for the 2014-15 campaign.
The boss played two teams apart from goalkeeper Shay Given - one in each half - and both sides showed plenty of promise as they look to improve and progress in the weeks leading up to the opening day of the season against Stoke on August 16.
Villa now fly out to Houston for another friendly encounter with Dynamo on Saturday, before domestic friendlies against Chesterfield, Groningen, Walsall and Parma.
In this latest clash, the claret and blues went in at half-time 1-0 up after a late strike in the opening 45 minutes.
It came a minute before the break and returning Bent was the creator.
The striker flew forward - with FC Dallas looking at a two versus two scenario - and passed it through to Weimann, charging down the left channel.
The Austrian ace took one look up before blasting the ball home past Raul Fernandez.
Villa had two decent chances before actually taking the lead.
Left-back Enda Stevens found space down the left flank on the half hour mark before charging forward and firing goalwards - Fernandez did very well to palm the ball wide.
Then moments before the goal itself, Gary Gardner got hold of the ball following a cleared corner and sliced it skywards. Fernandez looked far from comfortable as he tipped it over the bar.
The best chance of the first 45 minutes for the hosts - who lie second in the Western Conference behind Seattle Sounders - came on 34 minutes.
Mauro Diaz played in forward Andres Escobar but the 23-year-old Colombian could only fire high over the bar.
Villa grew in confidence after the break and were 2-0 up soon after.
N'Zogbia fired home an unstoppable shot from just outside the box.
Villa could - and should - have capped a fine performance in the closing minute with a third goal.
It was that man N'Zogbia once again - who showed his pace and grace to create an angle for a shot.
His first effort cannoned off the defender but the ball ricocheted back to him and his fierce drive was superbly stopped by Sanchez in the Dallas net.
FC Dallas: Fernandez [Sanchez HT], Hernandez [Loyd HT], Hedges [c] [Moffat HT], Watson [Luccin HT], Waker [Keel 70], Michel, Ulloa [Akindele HT], Diaz [Zimmerman HT], Escobar [Garcia HT], Castillo [Hollingshead 76], Texeira [Perez 70]. Subs not used: Gonzalez, Jacobsen.
Villa [First Half]: Given [c], Hutton, Okore, Stevens, Baker, Herd, Bacuna, Gardner, Weimann, Bent, Grealish. Villa [Second Half]: Given [c], Lowton, Senderos, Clark BOOKED, Bennett, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph BOOKED, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Richardson.