Last place in the Western Conference Houston Dynamo hoped to turn their road fortunes around against 4th place Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps last bested the Dynamo earlier this year 1-0 in controversial fashion following a dubious penalty decision conceded by the Dynamo.
This time will be a bit different for the Dynamo as they'll be without a head coach for the first time in their history. Earlier this past week the Dynamo and Manager Owen Coyle parted ways mutually which allowed for Assistant Wade Barrett, Sports Performance Director Paul Caffrey, and Goalkeeper Coach Paul Rodgers to split managerial duties for this match. The Dynamo lined up in a 4-1-4-1 against the Whitecaps, a departure from Coyle's favored 4-2-3-1 formation. Central defender Raul Rodriguez rejoined the lineup along with Oscar Boniek Garcia and Collen Warner.
Andrew Wenger would earn a free kick in the opening seconds and the Dynamo played a ball which was headed across goal towards Will Bruin, but the ball was cleared before it could get to the forward. The Dynamo continued to win balls early in the match and created a few chances within the first minutes.
Vancouver would come up with their first real chance on goal which forced a brilliant save by Goalkeeper Tyler Deric inside the 12th minute. The Whitecaps were able to quickly break through the Dynamo back as Pedro Morales turned and shot forcing the reaction save by the Houston keeper.
Houston would open the scoring at BC Place through excellent passing starting with Oscar Boniek Garcia. Boniek found Alex Lima who threaded a through ball into DaMarcus Beasley who glided through the defense and slotted a shot in with his right foot to put the visitors up 1-0.
The Whitecaps tried to answer not long after the Dynamo's goal as Kekuta Manneh found himself against David Horst. Horst was able to use his strength to get in front of Manneh, but he ended up conceding a corner kick. From the corner spot Tim Parker was able to make contact, but it glanced just wide of goal. Another communication breakdown in the back among Beasley, Raul Rodriguez, and Tyler Deric nearly let Vancouver score on an almost empty net, but the ball was well wide.
It was a nervous moment after the 30th minute as a shaky sequence of events and an awkward clearance by Raul Rodriguez found Beasley turn his ankle a bit on the artificial surface at BC Place. The designated player Beasley would be able to return after leaving the field briefly.
In bizarre fashion Alex Lima and Pedro Morales were both ejected in the 42nd minute. Morales initiated contact with Alex who reacted by shoving back. Head official Drew Fischer decided he wasn't going to let that continue and quickly gave each player a red card for their conduct. The card seemed a bit harsh since it was only a bit of shoving and shouting, but the official wasn't ready to see the two go at each other anymore and promptly sent both to their respective locker rooms.
Just before halftime Will Bruin held the ball in space and found Boniek Garcia whose shot was just off the mark. The two clubs would go into their locker rooms down a man following Alex's and Morales's brief shoving incident, but the Dynamo would go in with the lead after the first 45 minutes.
Shortly after the 2nd half kicked off Tyler Deric went down after getting off his line and sliding to get to the ball. Manneh played a through ball to Rivero, but Deric was able to slide into the pass first. Rivero jumped over Deric, but left his back foot trailing which caught Deric in the head. After being examined by the medical staff, Deric was allowed to continue.
In the 52nd minute Rivero would find the net following a corner kick. The Dynamo couldn't clear a ball which fell to Rivero who struck a ball with the outside of his right foot and bent it into the top corner of the net passed Tyler Deric. Rivero was left unmarked on the play, but it was a spectacular strike to equalize the game.
Tyler Deric would make a great save again in the 71st minute after Kekuta Manneh took a shot well outside the 18 yard box with pace, but Deric was able to grab the ball cleanly stopping the play. Horst would make a great run and help earn a corner which would lead to substitute Mauro Manotas heading the ball into the post. Vancouver would quickly find their own chance as Manneh played the ball back to Cristian Techera whose shot forced an incredibly difficult save by Deric.
In the 80th minute, Horst would slide into a pass by Jordan Smith which nearly found its way into his own net, but missed forcing a corner. The following kick from the corner spot went just over the top of the crossbar as Andrew Jacobson's headed effort was just too high.
Late in the game Vancouver fouled the Dynamo in several areas of the field quickly including on the left side of the 18 yard box. On the free kick by Miranda, he picked out David Horst whose header forced a finger tip save by Whitecap Goalkeeper David Ousted which ended up hitting the crossbar before being cleared out for another Dynamo corner.
The game would end up being a draw and the first road point of the season for the Houston Dynamo. Vancouver has lost just once this year at home so while the Dynamo would have liked to walk away with more than just a point, they can take solace in their effort in a difficult place to play.
The Dynamo next head to Toyota Stadium on June 2nd to play rivals FC Dallas at 8 PM Central.
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley, Raul Rodriguez, David Horst, Sheanon Williams; Oscar Boniek Garcia (Leonel Miranda 43'), Collen Warner; Ricardo Clark; Alex Lima, Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 61'), Andrew Wenger
Vancouver Whitecaps: David Ousted; Jordan Harvey, Tim Parker, Andrew Jacobson, Jordan Smith; Pedro Morales, Russell Teibert (Kianz Froese 90'), Matias Laba, Cristian Techera (Erik Hurtado 79'); Kekuta Manneh (Nicolas Mezquida 90'); Octavio Rivero
20' DaMarcus Beasley (Houston)
52' Octavio Rivero (Vancouver)
22' Yellow card to Jordan Smith (Vancouver)
40' Yellow card to Russell Teibert (Vancouver)
42' Red card to Alex Lima (Houston)
42' Red card to Pedro Morales (Vancouver)
51' Yellow card to Boniek Garcia (Houston)
67' Yellow Card to Matias Laba (Vancouver)
69' Yellow card to Andrew Wenger (Houston)