VANCOUVER, BC – A sold-out crowd of 21,000 was treated to a thrilling 2-2 draw between Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6W-4L-10D) and FC Dallas (8W-7L-6D) Sunday on a sunny afternoon at BC Place.
Jamaican striker Darren Mattocks and Budweiser Man of the Match Pedro Morales, who had a career-high 12 shots, provided the scoring for Whitecaps FC. Mattocks has now scored in three straight games for the first time in his career, while Morales’ tally was his team-leading seventh of the season.
It was a dominating performance from the Blue and White, who outshot their Western Conference rivals 30-10 en route to their third consecutive draw. Vancouver’s 30 shots set a new club record in Major League Soccer – only one other MLS side has recorded as many shots in a single game over the last four seasons.
The result moves Vancouver up to fifth place in the Western Conference with a 6W-4L-10D record – the ‘Caps are one of four teams who have lost just four matches this season.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made three changes to his starting lineup after last week’s 1-1 road draw with Real Salt Lake. Morales, Matias Laba and Erik Hurtado, who started on the right wing, returned to the lineup in place of Nicolas Mezquida, Mehdi Ballouchy and Omar Salgado.
Morales, who wore the captain’s armband for the sixth time this season, was particularly involved for the ‘Caps early on. In the 10th minute, the Chilean put on a cheeky juggling display to keep possession before sending in Mattocks, who saw his strike parried away by FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
Mattocks had another glorious opportunity less than a minute later and this time he made no mistake. In the build-up, Morales and Gershon Koffie had a nice little combination in midfield before the Ghanaian released Mattocks down the middle with an inch-perfect throughball.
Mattocks, who caused all sorts of problems with his speed and hustle up top, then calmly placed it in from the top of the box to put Whitecaps FC ahead 1-0.
It was a deserved lead for the ‘Caps, who controlled 60 per cent of possession and looked the livelier side throughout the first half. Although FC Dallas dropped deep in a 3-5-2 formation, Whitecaps FC found space in the attacking third and created several chances.
All the stats from Sunday's match. Click to enlarge.
Mattocks and Morales, who combined for seven of Vancouver’s 10 first-half shots, were involved in most of them. Morales saw two of his long-range strikes sail just side, while Mattocks hit the side netting after Steven Beitashour found him at the back post with a seeing-eye cross from the right corner.
At the other end of the park, FC Dallas didn’t have many chances but they still managed to take a 2-1 lead into the break thanks to a Blas Perez rebound from close-range in the 29th minute and a Michel penalty kick in the 39th minute.
The second half started just as the first did: with Vancouver controlling possession and dictating the play. And they broke through in the 54th minute, when a beautiful passing sequence between Mattocks, Morales, and Hurtado resulted in a Moises Hernandez handball inside the box.
Morales coolly placed the ensuing penalty into the bottom right corner the level the score at 2-2. The goal was Morales’ fifth from the penalty spot this season, which puts him in a tie for the league lead.
The new ‘Caps skipper nearly put Whitecaps FC in front less than a minute later, but another one of his long-distance strikes missed just wide.
Dallas had a few second-half opportunities of their own, including a 20-yard Perez strike that David Ousted tipped over the goal in the 65th minute, but it was mostly Vancouver for the rest of the match.
The ‘Caps came close on several occasions, including a 69th-minute Carlyle Mitchell header off the crossbar and two Morales strikes that Fernandez miraculously turned away. The Peruvian goalkeeper, who made seven saves on the night, forced Whitecaps FC to settle for a 2-2 draw – their 10th draw of the season.
After a short stop in Vancouver, the ‘Caps are back in the road next week as they visit Eastern Conference side Chicago Fire on Wednesday at Toyota Park. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. PT. The Blue and White return to BC Place on Sunday, August 10 to host defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City. Tickets are still available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets, 5-packs, student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Tweet of the Game
I never tweet this but it was honestly a privilege to watch Pedro Morales play today. Absolute masterclass. @WhitecapsFC— Corey Jackson (@Whitecaps4Life) July 27, 2014
Stat of the Game
Vancouver’s 30 shots set a new club record in Major League Soccer – only one other MLS side has recorded as many shots in a single game over the last four seasons. Similarly, no MLS player has recorded more shots in a single game since 2011 than Pedro Morales did on Sunday (12).
Quote of the Game
“Credit to the guys in there, they give me everything. They really, really give me everything. I can’t ask for any more. It’s a fine line this game, between winning and losing, and I think you’ve seen that today. We’re that close, but we’re that far.” - Carl Robinson
Budweiser Man of the Match: Pedro Morales
Referee: Kevin Stott
11’ – VAN – Darren Mattocks (Gershon Koffie)
29’ – DAL – Blas Perez
39’ – DAL – Michel (penalty kick)
53’ – VAN – Pedro Morales (penalty kick)
Shots: Vancouver 30 – Dallas 10
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 9 – Dallas 4
Saves: Vancouver 3 – Dallas 7
Fouls: Vancouver 12 – Dallas 8
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Dallas 0
Corners: Vancouver 7 – Dallas 3
59’ – VAN – Darren Mattocks
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour (20.Nigel Reo-Coker 90’+2), 24.Carlyle Mitchell, 16.Johnny Leverón, 2.Jordan Harvey; 28.Gershon Koffie, 15.Matías Laba; 19.Erik Hurtado (23.Kekuta Manneh 69’), 77.Pedro Morales, 7.Sebastián Fernández (17.Omar Salgado 90’+3); 11.Darren Mattocks
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 29.Nicolás Mezquida, 31.Russell Teibert, 40.Andy O’Brien
1.Raul Fernandez; 25.Walker Zimmerman, 22.Stephen Keel, 24.Matt Hedges (10.Mauro Diaz 45’); 17.Zach Lloyd, 28.Victor Ulloa, 6.Adam Moffat, 31.Michel, 3.Moises Hernandez; 13.Tesho Akindele (12.Ryan Hollingshead 90’), 7.Blas Perez (8.Peter Luccin 84’),
Substitutes not used
40.Richard Sanchez, 9.David Texeira, 26.Danny Garcia, 27.Je-Vaughn Watson