Houston Dynamo FC looked to right the ship following a slow start to the 2022 campaign following a scoreless draw to open things up and then a 1-0 loss on the road to Sporting Kansas City. This time with the Vancouver Whitecaps coming to PNC Stadium in Houston, the Dynamo looked a vastly improved team. They began with a more offensive minded starting XI and the result opened things up. Despite conceding the first goal to the visitors, the Dynamo would walk away with all three points in their 2-1 victory led by Darwin Quintero.
The very early stages of the game saw the Dynamo come close to opening the scoring. First some nice combination play between Sebastián Ferreira and Darwin Quintero led to Griffin Dorsey calling for the ball on the wing. After a decent delivery by Dorsey intended for Fafà Picault, the cross was just a little too high for Picault. However, the Dynamo would get possession back following the play and Quintero let a shot rip from distance forcing an acrobatic save by Whitecaps’ goalkeeper Thomas Hasal.
Quite the start here in H-Town #HoldItDown pic.twitter.com/W7VH4JlSHv— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) March 12, 2022
The Dynamo did very well to transition the ball from the back to the offense quickly utilizing some quick touch passing on defense which opened up the field as Vancouver was often caught chasing the ball.
Despite the early dominance in play, it would be the Vancouver Whitecaps to find the back of the net first coming from some very well put together passing on the wing. Cristian Dájome was given the ball out wide and Dájome delivered an inch perfect cross to Lucas Cavallini who one touched it passed Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark.
A perfect cross and Lucas Cavallini opens the scoring for @WhitecapsFC! pic.twitter.com/55MOp6mGXj— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 12, 2022
The Dynamo continued to control the game and added several more set pieces including 7 corner kicks in under 30 minutes, but weren’t able to get the equalizer. Darwin Quintero looked dangerous at times and Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla found Daniel Steres who nearly headed home a goal, but it just wasn’t finding the back of the net. Coco Carrasquilla had a good interception in Vancouver’s final third and picked out Sebas Ferreira, but Ferreira opted to go solo on goal instead of finding Picault out wide. The Whitecaps defense stood up to Sebas and had him dispossessed.
Houston would tie the game up in the 33rd minute though also getting their first goal of the season. Coco Carrasquilla played a perfect ball back post to Corey Baird. Baird reached for the pass and touched it around the Whitecaps’ goalkeeper to a wide open Darwin Quintero who tapped it into an empty net.
Just beautiful #HoldItDown pic.twitter.com/9aJ7BCZqOb— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) March 13, 2022
Quintero nearly doubled the Dynamo lead before the 40th minute. Baird squared a pass at the top of the 18 yard box to Quintero who had the ball deflected and go under his feet, but it somehow still stayed with him. After a quick fake, he set up the ball on his left and rifled a shot destined for the corner of the net, but Thomas Hasal made a brilliant diving save to keep the game level at a goal apiece.
Houston again nearly got the lead just before halftime with Quintero again leading the way. After getting possession in the midfield he glided forward passed his defenders into a good space and tried to set up Baird. Baird’s touch was a little too heavy and he had to square the pass hoping to find a Dynamo attacking player, but it was cleared by a Whitecaps’ defender.
It was a promising half for the Dynamo who were playing a much quicker and attacking oriented style of play than they had in the first two matches. Vancouver played extremely well to get an early lead, but Houston was in control of the match and the equalizer was well deserved.
The Dynamo were off to a quick start in the second half as they took the lead in just the 50th minute. Coco Carrasquilla played a great ball to the feet of Ferreira. Ferreira hoped to take the goal himself, but was well defended and he played the ball off to the run of Quintero. Quintero struck the ball incredibly well into the roof of the goal putting the home side up 2-1.
It's @darwinJR3's world, we're just livin' in it ♂️ pic.twitter.com/gkA44oviwY— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) March 13, 2022
As the second half continued into the 70th minute with Vancouver down a goal the visitors had to stretch themselves out more to increase their chances to level the game. The result didn’t see too many quality opportunities outside of some set pieces, but it did allow for the Dynamo to find more room to counter. Ferreira and Quintero had very good link up play that nearly had Ferreira get his first goal for Houston. Quintero even made the over the top pass without seeing where Ferreira was.
we're straight up having a good time pic.twitter.com/jYtbIpU4YW— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) March 13, 2022
The Whitecaps came incredibly close to getting a second goal in the 72nd minute following a corner kick which forced a huge save by Steve Clark with a finger tip save that hit the post. The follow up attempt on goal had another huge save but this time by Griffin Dorsey.
BIG STOP GRIFFIN DORSEY pic.twitter.com/TOyQMk3v8y— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) March 13, 2022
Thor Úlfarsson did well in his role off the bench as he made a good run and drew a foul at the top of the Vancouver 18 yard box. The Dynamo tried a trick play to get Thor to turn and have a shot at an open net, but the rookie’s first touch wasn’t the best and Hasal was quick to end the threat of conceding another goal.
Just before stoppage time Fafà Picault was brought down in a heavy challenge by Tristan Blackmon also at the top of Vancouver’s 18 yard box. Memo Rodríguez, who had come on for Quintero, Memo stood over the free kick and struck the top of the crossbar with a well hit shot.
After 90 minutes plus stoppage time the Dynamo would get their first win of the 2022 season holding off an increasingly hungry Vancouver side towards the end. Houston was in control of this game from the beginning having given up a well put together goal by the visitors, only to play their way back and take all three points. It was a deserved win, and a much stronger showing than the previous two outings by the Dynamo.
The Dynamo are back in action next Saturday, March 19th at 7:30 PM CT when the Colorado Rapids come to PNC Stadium.
14’ VAN: Lucas Cavallini (assisted by Cristian Dájome)
33’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (assisted by Corey Baird, Coco Carrasquilla)
50’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (assisted by Sebastián Ferreira)
28’ VAN: Javain Brown (yellow card)
80’ VAN: Rank Veselinović (yellow card)
87’ HOU: Thor Úlfarsson (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Steve Clark; Adam Lundkvist, Daniel Steres, Tim Parker, Griffin Dorsey; Adalberto Carrasquilla (78’ Darwin Cerén), Matías Vera, Darwin Quintero (75’ Memo Rodríguez); Corey Baird, Sebastián Ferreira (75’ Thor Úlfarsson), Fafà Picault (90’+2’ Teenage Hadebe)
Vancouver Whitecaps (3-4-2-1): Thomas Hasal; Florian Jungwirth (66’ Marcus Godinho), Rank Veselinović, Tristan Blackmon; Cristian Dájome, Leonard Owusu (66’ Déiber Caicedo), Russell Teibert (90’+5’ Tosaint Ricketts), Cristián Gutiérrez; Pedro Vite (24’ Javain Brown), Ryan Gauld; Lucas Cavallini