VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC recorded a crucial 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Western Conference side Houston Dynamo FC on a wild Friday night at BC Place.
The first half started with Houston opening the scoring in the sixth minute, as Sam Junqua’s lob back into the box ended with Fafa Picault deflecting the ball inside the area to give his squad a 1-0 advantage.
The ‘Caps would respond and find their rhythm, as attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld’s short pass found Ryan Raposo in the final third. The Canadian's cross from the left flank of the field then connected to Julian Gressel, as his volleyed strike went just wide of the near post in the 21st minute.
The second half would see the visitors finding an opportunity on a quick counter attack in the 61st minute of the match. Following Thor Úlfarsson’s patience inside the box, his attempt was stopped by goalkeeper Cody Cropper on a strong fingertip save, keeping the ball off the line.
The Blue & White would continue to push throughout the second half with multiple opportunities created.
The breakthrough finally came in the 88th minute, with two call-ups from Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) connecting to get the BC Place crowd to their feet. Following a build-up play orchestrated by wingback Ali Ahmed, his deflected shot ended on the foot of striker Simon Becher inside the box, who was making his MLS debut. The SuperDraft pick would then score his first MLS goal and level the game 1-1.
With only moments remaining, the 'Caps pushed for an unlikely winner. After a ball cleared out of the Dynamo box, Michael Baldisimo got up for a challenge, and Ranko Veselinović’s got on the end of the ball and poked it forward to striker Lucas Cavallini in the box. The Canadian international then hit a thumping strike past goalkeeper Steve Clark for the winner in stoppage time to give the ‘Caps a 2-1 victory.
Up next for the ‘Caps is another big road match against Western Conference foe LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park next Saturday, August 13 as they continue their push for the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT. You can catch all the action live on TSN and AM730 radio.
Whitecaps FC are then back home against Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, August 17 at BC Place. Tickets are available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
VWFC GE Appliances Player of Quality: Ranko Veselinović
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
6’ – HOU – Fafa Picault (Sam Junqua)
88’ – VAN – Simon Becher
90’+2’ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (Ranko Veselinović)
StatisticsPossession: VAN 45.2% – HOU 54.8%
Shots: VAN 13 – HOU 9
Shots on Goal: VAN 4 – HOU 4
Saves: VAN 3 – HOU 2
Fouls: VAN 7 – HOU 11
Offsides: VAN 0 – HOU 2
Corners: VAN 5 – HOU 5
53’ – HOU – Héctor Herrera
78’ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini
81’ – VAN – Ryan Gauld
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
55.Cody Cropper; 23.Javain Brown (29.Simon Becher 82’), 4.Ranko Veselinović, 6.Tristan Blackmon (28.Jake Nerwinski 69’); 19.Julian Gressel, 31.Russell Teibert © (51.Ali Ahmed 69’), 17.Leonard Owusu (33.Michael Baldisimo 57’), 27.Ryan Raposo; 25.Ryan Gauld, 45.Pedro Vite (9.Lucas Cavallini 56’); 87.Tosaint Ricketts
Substitutes not used
60.Isaac Boehmer, 15.Janio Bikel, 16.Sebastian Berhalter, 18.Alessandro Schöpf
Houston Dynamo FC
12.Steve Clark; 4.Zarek Valentin (37.Zeca 83’), 5.Tim Parker, 2.Daniel Steres, 29.Sam Junqua; 23.Darwin Quintero (25.Griffin Dorsey 72’), 16.Héctor Herrera ©, 24.Darwin Cerén; 34.Thorleifur Úlfarsson (13.Ethan Bartlow 83’), 9.Sebastián Ferreira (20.Adalberto Carrasquilla 72’), 10.Fabrice-Jean Picault
Substitutes not used
26.Michael Nelson, 8.Memo Rodríguez, 11.Corey Baird, 14.Roberto Avila, 27.Marcelo Palomino