HOUSTON, TX – Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s (4W-5L-1D) bid for a third straight road win fell just short on Friday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The ‘Caps fell 2-1 to Houston Dynamo (6W-3L-1D) despite another goal from Brek Shea – his third in as many matches. Shea, who grew up just outside of Houston, pulled the ‘Caps within one with an 85th-minute header after goals from Alberth Elis and MLS Golden Boot leader Erick Torres, whose 68th-minute penalty proved the difference.
Friday’s match concluded a four-match road trip for Vancouver, who now return to BC Place after posting a respectable 2W-2L-0D record during their travels.
For the fourth straight match, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson trotted out the same starting lineup on Friday – a first for the club in the Major League Soccer era.
This, however, was their toughest test yet.
The conditions in Houston make it a tough place to play on the best of days – it was about 27 degrees Celsius at kickoff. And the Dynamo came into the match unbeaten in six home matches to start the season (5W-0L-1D), outscoring their opponents 17-5 in the process.
They got off to a fine start on Friday, too.
Elis opened the scoring for Houston in the 15th minute, heading in a cross from fellow Honduran international Romell Quioto at the back post.
Both Hondurans looked lively in the early going with their pace down the flanks in Houston’s counter-attacking 4-3-3 system. But the ‘Caps did a decent job defending and created a couple chances of their own in the opening frame through Christian Bolaños, who picked out Fredy Montero and Tim Parker on a pair of set pieces and had a near-post strike saved just before the break.
They had a couple half-chances early in the second half, too, but Houston doubled their lead in the 68th minute after Kendall Waston was called for a penalty. Torres, who replaced an injured Elis in the 31st minute, placed the ensuing PK into the bottom right corner.
The ‘Caps didn’t go down without a fight, however.
Shea headed in a Bolaños free kick in the 85th minute, finding the back of the net as a substitute for the second straight game. Only this time, it came in a losing cause, as the ‘Caps failed to find an equalizer despite a late push.
After over a month without a home match, Whitecaps FC return to BC Place next Saturday, May 20 to host Sporting Kansas City in their first of three straight home matches in the span of a week.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Christian Bolaños
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
15′ – HOU – Alberth Elis (Romell Quioto)
68′ – HOU – Erick Torres (penalty kick)
85′ – VAN – Brek Shea (Christian Bolaños)
Possession: Houston 40.4% – Vancouver 59.6%
Shots: Houston 14 – Vancouver 13
Shots on Goal: Houston 4 – Vancouver 3
Saves: Houston 2 – Vancouver 2
Fouls: Houston 19 – Vancouver 9
Offsides: Houston 4 – Vancouver 1
Corners: Houston 9 – Vancouver 6
21′ – HOU – Adolfo Machado
39′ – VAN – Matias Laba
61′ – HOU – Mauro Manotas
67′ – VAN – Kendall Waston
90′ + 2′ – HOU – A.J. DeLaGarza
31.Joe Willis; 20.A.J. DeLaGarza, 3.Adolfo Machado, 22.Leonardo, 7.DaMarcus Beasley; 13.Ricardo Clark, 5.Juan Cabezas, 14.Alex; 17.Alberth Ellis (9.Erick Torres 31′), 19.Mauro Manotas (18.Memo Rodriguez 81′), 12.Romell Quioto (11.Andrew Wenger 56′)
Substitutes not used
1.Tyler Deric, 2.Jalil Anibaba, 10.Vicente Sanchez, 16.Kevin Garcia
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 25.Sheanon Williams, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba (31.Russell Teibert 77′); 13.Cristian Techera (20.Brek Shea 69′), 8.Andrew Jacobson, 16.Tony Tchani (67.Alphonso Davies 60′), 7.Christian Bolaños; 12.Fredy Montero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 17.Marcel de Jong, 77.Mauro Rosales