Houston Dynamo FC were looking to bounce back following a loss on the road to the Colorado Rapids when they took on the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Dynamo played nearly flawlessly in the 2-1 win at BBVA Stadium, but a late flub gifted the visitors a bit of life that made many Dynamo fans nervous. Still, the Dynamo defended well even if there were a few too many nervy moments late, and earned all three points.
The opening minutes between the two sides were a little ugly with each team trying to figure the other out, but the ball was skipping across the slick field making it difficult to control.
The home side got the opening goal within the first ten minutes. Fafà Picault got free on the left side of the field and sent in a low cross into the box. Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau tried to parry the ball away from danger, but he didn’t get enough on it and it fell to Memo Rodríguez who smashed in the rebound into the net.
Memo smashes it into the net for our first goal of the night pic.twitter.com/0MpD1uO4JK— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) May 23, 2021
The Whitecaps turned on the pressure after surrendering one early. First Caio Alexandre tried his luck from distance as no defender closed him down. Although the effort was off target, it was very close and had Dynamo keeper Marko Marić at full stretch. Then the Whitecaps put together some solid passing which set up Lucas Cavallini, but Zarek Valentin was excellent at getting his body in front of it and clearing it while on the ground.
Zarek Valentin appreciation tweet pic.twitter.com/Pzoa9X6HaZ— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) May 23, 2021
As the first half went on, Vancouver did well to possess the ball into the Dynamo’s half of the field, but struggled to get too deep into the half with the Dynamo winning back possession. Houston found opportunities on the counter which stretched the Whitecaps’ back line and kept them from pushing too high into the offense giving the Dynamo a numbers advantage defensively and in the midfield.
The Dynamo added to their goal tally before halftime. Following a corner kick driven in by Memo Rodríguez, the ball went to the back post where Maxi Urruti delivered a great side volley one time into the net.
MAXI HOW ARE YOU REAL?— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) May 23, 2021
Houston almost started the second half perfectly in the 47th minute. Picault got free on the left side of the field and sent in an excellent low cross towards the top of the 6 yard box. Memo was there and tried to slam the ball into the net, but he was more focused on power than placement with the ball going way over the top.
Not too long later, Maxi Urruti was fouled a little off from the 18 yard box. Memo Rodríguez stood over the ball and curled one towards the upper 90 of the net. However he got too much under the ball and it just went over the top.
As the second half ticked on, the Whitecaps players looked visibly frustrated and the game became more chippy. Ariel Lassiter almost made it 3-0 to Houston before the 70th minute. A wonderful long through pass by Joe Corona found Lassiter on the right wing of the field. Lassiter took his man on and cut inside and struck the ball well to hit the top of the crossbar.
Corona tried his luck from distance in the 75th minute. Urruti squared a pass off to Corona who took his space and rocketed a ball that wasn’t too far off, but it was over the top.
Joe Corona wants in on the action pic.twitter.com/VJiKszgagv— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) May 23, 2021
The game wasn’t over though as Vancouver was able to pull a goal back. A pass was played backward to Oscar Boniek García who struggled with his touch and it was won by Lucas Cavallini. Cavallini got his head up and squared a pass to Déiber Caicedo. Caicedo took his touch and got around Marko Marić and blasted the ball into the net passed the Dynamo players who were trying to block the goal.
Following the goal, Vancouver found some life with the momentum swinging their way late. However, the Dynamo were able to weather the shift in momentum and get the full three points after the final whistle. It was an outstanding performance for the majority of the game, but a late goal that was self inflicted mistake put some life into the visitors.
Next up for the Dynamo is Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday May 29th at 7:30 PM CT.
8’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez
42’ HOU: Maxi Urruti (assisted by Memo Rodríguez)
80’ VAN: Déiber Caicedo (assisted by Lucas Cavallini)
21’ VAN: Lucas Cavallini (yellow card)
22’ HOU: Derrick Jones (yellow card)
32’ HOU: Joe Corona (yellow card)
52’ VAN: Janio Bikel (yellow card)
81’ VAN Michael Baldisimo (yellow card)
82’ HOU: Oscar Boniek García (yellow card)
88’ HOU: Fafà Picault (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Oscar Boniek García, Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (73’Matías Vera), Derrick Jones, Joe Corona; Ariel Lassiter (73’ Tyler Pasher), Maxi Urruti (90’+2’ Christian Ramirez), Fafà Picault
Vancouver Whitecaps (4-4-2): Maxime Crépeau; Javain Brown, Andy Rose, Érik Godoy, Bruno Gaspar (85’ Theo Bair); Russell Teibert (46’ Michael Baldisimo), Caio Alexandre, Janio Bikel (64’ Tosaint Ricketts), Christian Dájome (64’ Ryan Raposo); Lucas Cavallini, Déiber Caicedo