The Houston Dynamo thought they had their first win on the road of the season after Mauro Manotas’s 90th minute goal, but after knocking on the door all night long the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to find an answer and draw the Dynamo 2-2 in stoppage time.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) Despite going up on Vancouver twice in this game, the Dynamo should consider themselves fortunate to come away with a road point. Although the Dynamo nearly stole the game, Vancouver looked to be by far the more dangerous side as familiar bunkering tactics by Houston allowed the Whitecaps opportunity after opportunity to score which required some Herculean efforts by Joe Willis and the defense to keep them off the board.
2) Both of Vancouver’s goals were poorly defended by Houston and both showed a weakness defending set pieces. The first equalizer came when Vancouver took a short free kick as Kendall Waston was left wide open. The closest defender was the center forward Mauro Manotas who Waston easily beat down to the end line. Waston that wide open showed a lapse in concentration which led to a goal. Waston crossing the ball in to Aja was just a fantastic goal – hard to go against it, but the lead up was preventable. The second equalizer came from a silly foul by Leonardo. I think it was more of a dive than a foul on Yordy Reyna, but don’t create the contact to give someone the chance to flop. The Dynamo defense allowed Kei Kamara and then Waston to each get a head on the ball before it went in. They have to do a better job of boxing out players to get to the ball.
3) Wilmer’s use of substitutions was again perplexing. I understood the Boniek for Darwin Cerén because that was injury related, but taking off Tomás Martínez and Alberth Elis in the 71st and 73rd minutes respectively changed the makeup of the game. The Dynamo had found some success counter attacking, but with these players off, Vancouver took complete control. Furthermore, these are supposed to be some of the most important players on the team and you took them out with nearly 20 minutes left in the game? Why Wilmer?
4) This was more than a fair result for the Dynamo overall, but we’re beginning to see trends with this team emerge that are a little troubling. We know this team can score and two goals on the road is pretty good. I would have liked to see more from Romell Quioto and the ball worked his way more, but overall it was okay. Harrison Hamm wrote about some of the limited success on the right side due to Adolfo Machado being out of position. The defense must be sharper, but a reason why they were more prone to mistakes was how deep this team sat back and how high Vancouver pressed them. This team cannot sit back and expect its defense to win games - not right now anyways. We also need to see the midfield play a little smarter and at times a little faster at getting the ball out wide to Quioto and Elis.