VANCOUVER, BC – It was an action-packed afternoon at BC Place.
Octavio Rivero scored a stunning half-volley, David Ousted made a diving fingertip save, and both teams were shown red cards as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6W-6L-3D) came back to earn a 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo (3W-7L-3D) on Saturday at BC Place.
The ‘Caps are now undefeated in seven straight matches at home, where it seems there hasn’t been a dull moment this season.
Saturday’s sold-out affair was no exception.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson was forced to make four changes to his starting lineup on Saturday due to international absences and injuries. Two of the changes came on the back line, where Jordan Smith and Andrew Jacobson replaced centre backs Kendall Waston (international duty) and Pa-Modou Kah (adductor strain).
Also drawing into the lineup were midfielder Russell Teibert and Rivero.
Saturday’s match was Houston’s first following the departure of now former head coach Owen Coyle. The ‘Caps spoke this week about the danger of playing against a team that just made a coaching change.
And their concerns were validated in the early going.
Houston got off to a bright road start, controlling the tempo in the opening 10 minutes. It got even brighter in the 20th minute, when DaMarcus Beasley opened the scoring with a fine individual effort. After a nice build-up in midfield, the left back was released down the flank before cutting into the box and calmly finishing from close range.
The ‘Caps eventually settled into the match, outshooting Houston 7-3 in the opening frame.
They also forced Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric into a pair of key saves. In the 13th minute, he denied a left-footed Pedro Morales strike after the ‘Caps captain made a lovely turn in the box. And late in the first half, he stopped Jacobson at the back post on a Cristian Techera free kick.
The biggest talking point in the first half, however, was matching red cards shown to Morales and Alex in the 42nd minute. The play started with a pair of Alex tackles on Morales. A shoving match ensued – at which point referee Drew Fischer went to his back pocket.
With both teams down to 10 men, Whitecaps FC levelled the score early in the second half.
In the 52nd minute, Rivero found the top right corner with a brilliant, swerving half-volley after Jordan Harvey flicked on a Techera corner at the near post.
The Uruguayan’s stunner set up an entertaining conclusion to this one.
Both teams had some fantastic chances in the final half hour. Houston hit the crossbar twice on a pair of set pieces, including in the 86th minute when Ousted made a great diving save to tip a David Horst header off the woodwork.
The ‘Caps also came close on several occasions but simply couldn't beat Deric, who finished the match with six saves.
Whitecaps FC don’t return to MLS action until June 18 vs. New England Revolution as the league breaks for the upcoming Copa América Centenario.
However, the ‘Caps are set to kick off their defence of the Voyageurs Cup with a pair of matches vs. Ottawa Fury FC in the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal. The first leg will be played on Wednesday, June 1 in Ottawa (4:30 p.m. PT on TSN1), before the series shifts to BC Place for the second leg on Wednesday, June 8 (7 p.m. PT – tickets still available).
STAT OF THE GAME
Jordan Smith had a game-high 11 tackles, the second highest total of any MLS player this season.
Ousted appeared in his 100th match with Whitecaps FC on Saturday, including the playoffs and Amway Canadian Championship.
MCMILLAN ‘CAPS CORNER KICK DONATIONS
For every ‘Caps corner kick at home, McMillan donates $100 to the United Way. An additional $500 is donated for every goal scored off a corner kick. This match McMillan Corners for Kids has donated $1600 for a running total of $7000.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Octavio Rivero
Referee: Drew Fischer
20’ – HOU – DaMarcus Beasley (Alex, Boniek Garcia)
52’ – VAN – Octavio Rivero
Possession: Vancouver 56.3 % – Houston 43.7 %
Shots: Vancouver 14 – Houston 8
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 7 – Houston 2
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Houston 6
Fouls: Vancouver 18 – Houston 14
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Houston 0
Corners: Vancouver 7 – Houston 3
22’ – VAN – Jordan Smith
40’ – VAN – Russell Teibert
51’ – HOU – Boniek Garcia
67’ – VAN – Matias Laba
69’ – HOU – Andrew Wenger
42’ – HOU – Alex
42’ – VAN – Pedro Morales
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 13.Cristian Techera (19.Erik Hurtado 79’), 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert (38.Kianz Froese 90’), 77.Pedro Morales ©; 23.Kekuta Manneh (11.Nicolás Mezquida 90’); 29.Octavio Rivero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 3.Sam Adekugbe, 14.Cole Seiler, 32.Marco Bustos
1.Tyler Deric; 22.Sheanon Williams, 18.David Horst, 5.Raul Rodriguez, 7.DaMarcus Beasley ©; 11.Andrew Wenger, 13.Ricardo Clark, 26.Collen Warner, 27.Boniek Garcia (33.Lionel Miranda 73’), 14.Alex; 12.Will Bruin (19.Mauro Manotas 61’)
Substitutes not used
31.Joe Willis, 2.Jalil Anibaba, 4.Agus, 6.David Rocha, 8.Cristian Maidana
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