Fredy Montero came off the bench to score a dramatic game-winner in the dying moments as Vancouver Whitecaps FC dealt a crucial blow to Houston Dynamo’s playoff hopes with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.
It was a frantic finish to an eventful evening at BC Place that saw the two Western Conference foes go back and forth in the second half, with Inbeom Hwang and Mauro Manotas trading goals after halftime.
The first half saw the ‘Caps manage the match well, showing composure with their possession but just unable to translate it into a goal. It did not take long into the second frame, however, for the home side to be rewarded when Yordy Reyna’s direct free kick attempt was handled by Manotas in the Dynamo wall to win the ‘Caps a penalty. The call stood following video review, and Hwang slotted in the ensuing kick from the spot with ease to open the scoring.
Houston would answer in the 78th minute. The Dynamo had the ball pinging from side to side, eventually leading to a long shot from Maynor Figueroa. ‘Caps goalkeeper Zac MacMath parried the initial attempt away but Manotas was alert to the rebound to draw the visitors level.
The ‘Caps did not relent, receiving a boost from their bench in both Montero and Theo Bair. With mere seconds remaining in regulation time, Ali Adnan pushed forward and connected with Bair, who did well to keep possession inside the box, before setting up Montero on the left side for his seventh goal of the year.
Whitecaps FC look to string consecutive wins next Saturday when they host Columbus Crew SC. Kickoff at BC Place is at 2 p.m.
LEGENDS & STARS CHARITY MATCH, PRESENTED BY DAILY HIVE
Prior to the MLS fixture, the club held the third annual Legends & Stars charity soccer match. Among this year’s players was Vancouver-born actor Jacob Tremblay, best known for his starring roles in Room, Wonder, and most recently Good Boys. He was joined by joined Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, Ross Lynch from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, as well as cast from The 100, Riverdale, Siren, A Million Little Things, and more. All proceeds will be donated to Whitecaps FC community partners. MLS Commissioner Don Garber was at hand, presenting a $10,000 donation to Whitecaps FC community partners at halftime of the charity match.