Earlier this week the Houston Dynamo snapped a seven game winless streak with a 2-0 win over Minnesota United FC and they hoped to extend that to their first back-to-back wins since the beginning of the season. Unfortunately the Dynamo would see another loss, this time to the Vancouver Whitecaps, despite what looked like a promising performance away from BBVA Stadium.
The club had some reinforcements as international players came back with Maynor Figueroa and José Bizama both getting the start for interim manager Davy Arnaud and Alberth Elis made his appearance off the bench.
The Dynamo came out with a lot of energy in the opening minutes and utilized a high press – something the club had not typically done on the road. Houston would get the first chance of the game in the 4th minute on a counter attack. Manotas received a long ball and patiently held it up waiting for runs to come in. He quickly got his head up and picked out the run of Tommy McNamara, but his touch was poor and he had to quickly get his shot off as it went wide of goal.
As the game went on the Dynamo largely looked in control with great movement up top and pressure on the defense. Tomás Martínez and Ali Adnan had been involved in a few scuffles, and Adnan would end up with a yellow card for getting hands to the head of Tomás.
After the 30th minute Vancouver attempted to apply a press of their own, but Houston did well to pass in tight spaces out of the back and they played their way back into possessing in the Whitecaps’ half of the field.
Both sides would go into the locker room for halftime locked at 0-0, but the Dynamo had been the better side. The offense had great vision to connect and possess in Vancouver’s half and the defense was up to task to defend the counter attack while maintaining possession in tight areas when pressed.
The second half saw Vancouver pressing more and finding more build up play, but the Dynamo defense made it difficult for the Whitecaps to break them down. They would get a chance in the 50th minute after Matías Vera brought down Michaell Chirinos at the top of the box. The following kick was sent right into the defensive wall and head referee Robert Sibiga pointed to the penalty spot as it appeared the ball struck Mauro Manotas in the hand. After a look at VAR Sibiga decided to uphold the call even though it didn’t appear to be the correct decision. Hwang In-Beom stepped up and converted the penalty as Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis guessed the wrong way.
Following Vancouver’s successful penalty, they changed their approach to playing a more compact style which forced the Dynamo to switch the ball to wide areas and often backwards to reset the offense. The offense which saw a lot of movement in the first half saw less as the Dynamo were a little more direct with Alberth Elis being substituted on.
Vancouver nearly doubled their lead in the 75th minute as Adnan got free inside the Dynamo 18 yard box with space. He tried to play Tosaint Ricketts in for what would’ve been a tap in, but Ricketts held his run thinking he would be offside.
Houston would get their equalizer in the 78th minute with Maynor Figueroa opting for a shot on goal from about 35 yards out. Zac MacMath didn’t push the ball clear as he spilled it across goal and Manotas pounced on it and put the ball in the back of the net.
Figueroa almost got the Dynamo up a goal in the 80th minute on a free kick outside the 18 yard box. Figueroa was the one who took the free kick and he went low near post and as the wall jumped it went right under and nearly found its way into the bottom corner of the net but it took a deflection and went wide.
In the 90th minute the home side would retake the lead as the Dynamo just couldn’t clear a ball with substitute Fredy Montero getting his side up late in the game. Houston tried to equalize a few minutes later into stoppage after Adam Lundqvist earned his side a free kick outside the 18 yard box. Memo Rodríguez tried to curl it into goal, but it was just off target.
The whistle would blow and the Dynamo were handed another L. It’s unfortunate because the effort was there for the most part, but an unfortunate penalty decision and a brief switch off at the back saw them drop points. Overall, good performance on the road, but the second half offense just didn’t look as dynamic as it was in the first thanks to Vancouver becoming more compact after their penalty.
The Dynamo next host Orlando City SC Saturday September 21st at 7:30 PM CT at BBVA Stadium.
54’ VAN: Hwang In-Beom (penalty)
78’ HOU: Mauro Manotas
90’ VAN: Hwang In-Beom (assisted by Theo Bair)
30’ VAN: Ali Adnan (yellow card)
42’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)
66’ VAN: Fredy Montero (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1): Joe Willis; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Alejandro Fuenmayor, José Bizama; Oscar Boniek García, Matías Vera; Christian Ramirez (83’ Ronaldo Peña), Tommy McNamara (71’ Memo Rodríguez), Tomás Martínez (61’ Alberth Elis); Mauro Manotas
Vancouver Whitecaps (4-3-3): Zac MacMath; Ali Adnan, Derek Cornelius, Doneil Henry, Scott Sutter; Russell Teibert, Andy Rose, Hwang In-Beom; Michaell Chirinos (71’ Theo Bair), Tosaint Ricketts (82’ Fredy Montero), Yordy Reyna (90’+5’ Lass)