Houston Dynamo were handed their first loss of the season on Saturday by the Vancouver Whitecaps. The loss was also a rare loss at home. Both teams had started the season with wins with Houston putting on a 4-0 showing against Atlanta United while the Whitecaps won 2-1 over their Canadian rival Montreal.
The Dynamo got off to a strong start against the Whitecaps getting off six shots in the first fifteen minutes of the game. Vancouver was quick to jump out and show their speed as they got off a shot in front of goal in the opening minutes of the game. Things shifted from there as Houston quickly made way to the other end of the field with several good chances.
Eric Alexander moved the ball down the field catching Alberth Elis on a breakaway down the right side of the field. Elis crossed the ball to Andrew Wenger, but the ball was a touch in front of him. Wenger was able to get a foot to the ball but it was a bit of a stretch and the shot was wide of the post.
In the 26th minute Philippe Senderos was whistled for bringing Kei Kamara down in the box awarding a penalty kick to Vancouver. Kamara, who once played for the Dynamo, took the penalty kick with Chris Seitz guessing the right way on the kick but was unable to stop it.
It was La Pantera getting his first goal of the season that tied the game back up. In the 39th minute a beautiful passing sequence by the Dynamo that saw half the team touch the ball ended at the feet of Elis who’s shot easily found the net to bring the score level. Tomas Martinez, playing in his first game of the season after serving suspension last week, had the assist on the goal.
The Dynamo put together a dominant first half with 10 shots and six corner kicks. They even dominated time of possession with 58% of the possession. The Whitecaps were the weaker side in the first half but still plenty dangerous with three shots.
The second half got off to a bad start for the Dynamo as they give up a goal just a few minutes into the half. It was substitute Brek Shea who did the damage as he scored on the counter attack after he beat Kevin Garcia on the left side. Shea ran past Machado and shot the ball past Seitz to make it 1-2, Vancouver.
Elis tried to level things back up with a magnificent turn and shot off a cross, but once against it was Stefan Marinovic who made the stop. Minutes later it would be Marinovic again making the stop but this time against Wenger.
As the second half droned on the Dynamo fell into their usual second half lull. Vancouver dropped back as the bunkered after their one goal lead. After last week’s goal off a short corner the team seemed to be hoping that lighten would strike twice as they kept going back to the short corner.
With six minutes of stoppage time the Dynamo poured on the coals to try and get off as many shots as they could to try and come out of the game with one point. However, the men in orange didn’t come close as the final whistle blew and the team suffered a rare loss at home.
By the final whistle the Dynamo got off an astounding 21 shots with seven shots on target. On the flip side the Whitecaps had just seven shots with three on target. Houston had the ball 67.3% of the game. For most team winning possession works in their favor but for the Dynamo often leads to a loss.
Now the Dynamo hit the road to play DC United next Saturday at 12:30 pm CT.
Update - Brek Shea has subbed on in place of Marcel. 'Caps back up to 11 men on the field.— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 10, 2018
One change at halftime: Kevin Garcia replaces Philippe Senderos.— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 11, 2018
Garcia goes to RB, Machado moves inside to CB. #HOUvVAN
#VWFC SUB:— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 11, 2018
IN: Anthony Blondell
OUT: Kei Kamara
Big round of applause for Kei!