Highlights: FC Dallas 1 - 0 Whitecaps FC
FRISCO, TX - In the final game of a four-match spell on the road, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-12L-7D) suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at Western Conference rivals FC Dallas (9W-12L-9D) on Saturday evening.
Canadian international Julian de Guzman’s wonder strike very deep into second-half stoppage time gave The Hoops all three points at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The result pushed Schellas Hyndman’s side to within one point of Whitecaps FC for the fifth and final playoff spot in the MLS Western Conference standings, though the Texas-based outfit have played an extra game more than Vancouver.
It was a very cruel way for the Blue and White to fall to defeat, having withstood plenty of Dallas pressure. There were some fine saves from Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton, which included a first-half David Ferreira penalty.
With four changes from the side that faced LA Galaxy two weeks ago, Whitecaps FC looked compact and workmanlike in the Dallas suburbs. Unsurprisingly, the first half proved to be the battle that some expected to see on Saturday, with Dallas coming the closest to scoring before halftime.
Dallas’ best chance of the opening half came from a penalty award on 16 minutes. Hoops captain Ferreira took the spot kick with his right foot, but Knighton made a fine save to his right to keep the game scoreless.
Knighton’s penalty save livened up the match, and it was Vancouver that created two fine chances before the break. Jordan Harvey struck a half volley just wide of goal on 25 minutes, while John Thorrington drilled a long-range shot just off target four minutes later.
The opening half ended with the Texas outfit going close again to breaking the deadlock. Ferreira struck Brek Shea’s low cross off the Vancouver near post on 41 minutes before Shea himself forced an outstanding save from Knighton a minute later.
With much at stake for both clubs, the second half offered drama and entertainment in spades, with large amounts of back-and-forth action after the restart. Dallas kept pressing forward and had chances through Blas Perez and Jair Benitez, while Knighton did well to cut out a Shea run and cross on 66 minutes.
There were also Whitecaps FC chances, with the visitors posing a threat after the introduction of Darren Mattocks on 61 minutes. His pace and quickness had the Dallas’ backline on their toes, as the recently-capped Jamaican international earned a couple of Vancouver corners from his attempted strikes at goal.
In fact, the ‘Caps almost made the breakthrough on 84 minutes. Thorrington got on the end of substitute Russell Teibert’s low cross from the left, but Hoops goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made a match-defining save in his own six-yard box to keep the game goalless.
The final moments, which included a minimum of six minutes of stoppage time, had Whitecaps FC supporters’ hearts in their mouths, as Rennie’s side were forced into some desperate defending by the home side. Perez had a Dallas goal called off for offside on 89 minutes, while substitute Fabian Castillo blazed a close-range chance over the Vancouver crossbar four minutes into stoppage time.
The deciding moment of the match came in the sixth minute of stoppage time off a Castillo corner from the right. The Colombian youngster’s set-piece was cleared to de Guzman near the edge of the Vancouver box. The former Toronto FC man took the ball off his chest and struck a full volley through a crowd of players and past a diving Knighton to earn a crucial home win for Dallas.
Whitecaps FC will look to put this defeat in Texas behind them by returning to Vancouver for the first of four home matches on Bell Pitch at BC Place, starting with a third and final regular season clash versus Western Conference foes Colorado Rapids on Sunday, September 23.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Alain Rochat
Referee: Allen Chapman
90+6' - DAL - Julian de Guzman
Shots: Dallas 11 – Vancouver 10
Shots on Goal: Dallas 3 – Vancouver 1
Saves: Dallas 2 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Dallas 16 – Vancouver 19
Offsides: Dallas 2 – Vancouver 5
Corners: Dallas 6 – Vancouver 4
30' - VAN - Martin Bonjour
36' - VAN - Jordan Harvey
45' - DAL - Julian de Guzman
53’ – VAN – Gershon Koffie
90+1' - VAN - Brad Knighton
1.Kevin Hartman; 13.Hernan Pertuz, 24.Matt Hedges, 14.George John (17.Zach Loyd 74'), 5.Jair Benitez (31.Scott Sealy 88'); 6.Jackson Goncalves, 12.Julian de Guzman, 4.Andrew Jacobson (7.Fabian Castillo 58'), 20.Brek Shea; 10.David Ferreira, 9.Blas Perez
Substitutes not used: 18.Chris Seitz, 11.Ricardo Villar, 22.Carlos Rodriguez, 29.Moises Hernandez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 15.Martin Bonjour, 6.Jay DeMerit, 3.Jordan Harvey; 11.John Thorrington, 4.Alain Rochat, 28.Gershon Koffie; 14.Barry Robson (16.Matt Watson 86'), 7.Kenny Miller (22.Darren Mattocks 61'), 37.Camilo Sanvezzo (31.Russell Teibert 80')
Substitutes not used: 1.Joe Cannon, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 20.Dane Richards, 27.Jun Marques Davidson