VANCOUVER, BC - The Vancouver Whitecaps returned to winning ways this afternoon by defeating the visiting Houston Dynamo in front of 21,000 boisterous fans at BC Place Stadium.
With midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker (concussion) unavailable for today's match, Whitecaps manager Carl Robinson switched to a 4-4-2 diamond formation featuring a midfield of Matías Laba, Russell Teibert, Gershon Koffie and Pedro Morales.
The Dynamo started the match well by pressuring Vancouver, but it was the Whitecaps who took the early lead when fullback Jordan Harvey put the home side ahead after only fourteen minutes. Andy O'Brien nodded down a Pedro Morales cross for Harvey, who zipped through a motionless Houston back four and tapped the ball into Tally Hall's net for his first goal of the season.
Houston had an opportunity to draw level shortly thereafter when Darren Mattocks' former college teammate, Kofi Sarkodie, whipped a cross into the box, but Giles Barnes headed wide of the target.
To start the second half the Dynamo looked determined to try and draw level with Vancouver, but a David Ousted save and a well-timed tackle from Jay DeMerit kept the home team in front.
Just before the hour mark Mattocks put Vancouver in a spot to extend their lead. As the speedy Jamaican tried to split the Houston defenders, Sarkodie handled the ball and referee Kevin Stott awarded the Whitecaps the penalty kick. Kenny Miller, who was forced to re-take the penalty kick after Mattocks was deemed to have encroached during the first attempt, put Vancouver up by a score of two to nil.
Fifteen minutes from full time Ricardo Clark pulled one back for the Dynamo after he scored off a long free kick from Brad Davis. It was, however, as close as Houston would get on the afternoon.
With the victory this afternoon the Whitecaps (W2-L0-D2 -8 points) have equaled their best ever start to an MLS campaign through four matches and currently sit third in the Western Conference behind FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. The Whitecaps will next play the Colorado Rapids on April 5th at BC Place Stadium starting at 3:30 PM PDT.
Man of the Match: Pedro Morales
Match Highlights: Whitecaps FC 2 - 1 Houston Dynamo:
Carl Robinson Post Match Interview:
Kenny Miller Post Match Interview:
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