Vancouver Whitecaps FC fell 3-2 against Houston Dynamo in a wild match at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday.
The ‘Caps started in a 3-4-3 formation for the first time under Marc Dos Santos. Two personnel changes were made to the starting lineup as Jake Nerwinski and Lucas Venuto were replaced by Derek Cornelius and Scott Sutter.
The Dynamo opened the scoring on 15 minutes. After a turnover on the end line, Alberth Elis centred to Memo Rodríguez for a tap in.
Vancouver leveled the match on 35 minutes. After Montero was taken down in the box, he calmly converted the ensuing penalty kick for his first goal of the season.
Houston then received a penalty kick call of their own as Elis was judged to have been taken down by Derek Cornelius. The play was called in for review by the VAR for a clear and obvious error, but referee Nima Saghafi stuck with his call on the field. Elis converted the penalty kick to restore a 2-1 lead for the home side.
At halftime Dos Santos made a tactical change, bringing on winger Lass Bangoura for Cornelius and switching to a 4-3-3 formation. Bangoura made a quick impact, getting the ball on a long run forward on 54 minutes and finishing into the far corner to make it 2-2.
Houston retook the lead on 73 minutes as it was once again Elis finding Rodríguez from close range to make it 3-2. The Blue and White were dealt a further blow minutes later as Andy Rose was forced to leave the match with a head injury, moments after the ‘Caps third and final substitution had been made.
Despite being down a man, the ‘Caps pushed for the equalizer, however no more goals would come as the final whistle blew.
Whitecaps FC will now have one week off for the international break before returning to action at home against rivals Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 30 at BC Place. The March 30 match is expected to mark the arrival of new Iraqi international signing Ali Adnan.
15’ – HOU – Memo Rodríguez (Alberth Elis)
35’ – VAN – Fredy Montero (penalty kick)
42’ – HOU – Alberth Elis (penalty kick)
54’ – VAN – Lass Bangoura
73’ – HOU – Memo Rodríguez (Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas)
49’ – HOU – Memo Rodríguez
82′ – VAN – Victor Giro
83′ – HOU – Romell Quioto
90′ – HOU – Mauro Manotas