With their playoff hopes already extinguished, the Houston Dynamo traveled to BC Place to try and at least close out the season with a strong performance, but ended up losing to the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0.
After seeing any hope of a miracle playoff run snuffed out at BBVA last Sunday, the Houston Dynamo’s 2015 campaign officially came to an end tonight in Vancouver.
While the Dynamo may have had nothing but pride to play for, this contest actually carried a great deal of significance for the Whitecaps. Depending on how this match and the rest of Decision Day went, Vancouver could have finished anywhere between the 1 seed, and the 6th, the difference being a first round bye. After going winless in their last 5, Vancouver desperately wanted a good result here.
The game began with a number of spectacular saves for the Dynamo keeper, but it was backup goalie Joe Willis, not Tyler Deric, making the plays. Just three minutes in, Willis dashed forward to try and scoop up a lazy back pass, but Christian Techera dragged it to the left of the goal, drawing Willis out before crossing it back to Rivero, who could have had an easy tap in but Willis dived out and tipped it just wide with his fingertips. Not even a minute later, Matias Laba tried a volley at the lower left corner, but Willis was there to collect it against his chest.
Cristian Techera attempted a similar strike in the 13th, but this time tried to sneak it under the crossbar, but it bounced off the crossbar instead and rattled out of play.
Vancouver dominated possession in the first half, but Houston played well enough to keep it even at halftime. That would change in the second half.
In the 59th minute, Vancouver executed a simple sequence where Matias Laba crossed the ball left from the sideline to Gershon Koffie, who crossed it left to Kekuta Manneh directly in front of goal. Manneh fired in a long range shot off his right foot that went past Willis into the lower left corner.
Erick Torres came very close to tying the game and tallied his first Dynamo score just a minute later. A great through ball from Ricardo Clark was passed back by Will Bruin to Cubo at the edge of the box, who attempted a curling shot into the far post that just missed.
In the 72nd, a Vancouver corner kick taken by Christian Techera found the head of Kendall Waston right in the center of the box. His header went straight down, then bounced into the right corner of the net to put the Whitecaps up 2-0. As if a two goal lead just wasn’t safe enough for Vancouver, late sub Robert Earnshaw rubbed salt into the wound in the third minute of extra time, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Dynamo’s season.
Vancouver earned themselves a first round bye with this win, so they will await the winner of the Knockout Round Match between the Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy, while the Dynamo prepare for a long offseason.
Houston (4-4-2): Joe Willis, Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley, Leonel Miranda (Boniek Garcia 63’), Luis Garrido, Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes (Rob Lovejoy 89’), Will Bruin, Erick Torres (Mauro Manotas 61’)
Vancouver (4-5-1): David Ousted, Steven Beitashour, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey, Matias Laba, Russell Teibert, Cristian Techera (Mauro Rosales 74’), Gershon Koffie, Kekuta Manneh (Jordan Smith 85’), Octavio Rivero (Robert Earnshaw 90’)
Vancouver: Kekuta Manneh 59’, Kendall Waston 72’, Robert Earnshaw 90+3’
Yellow: Luis Garrido 52’, Kekuta Manneh 84’