VANCOUVER, BC - The Vancouver Whitecaps moved back into first place in the MLS Western Conference after a 1-0 win over FC Dallas in front of 21,000 raucous fans at BC Place stadium on Saturday evening. In addition to the victory the Caps benefited from favorable results from around the league to take back top spot from the LA Galaxy.
Eager to make amends for the disappointing loss at Sporting Kansas City last weekend, Whitecaps manager Carl Robinson fielded a strong starting line up in an effort to spur his side to a team record 14th MLS victory. FC Dallas, on the other hand, were eager to resume their winning form after losing 2-0 to the Chicago Fire last weekend.
After an initial feeling-out period in which both teams sought to test one another, it was Dallas who had the best scoring opportunity to open the scoring when Atiba Harris' long range shot forced David Ousted to make a diving save and concede the corner in the fourteenth minute.
The Whitecaps, on the other hand, were only able to penetrate into the Dallas area twice within the opening twenty minutes, and were unable to test Jesse Gonzalez in the Dallas goal.
In what was perhaps the Caps' best chance in the opening half hour came in the twenty-third minute when Cristian Techera and Kekuta Manneh combined nicely just outside the Dallas area. Manneh finished the move by whipping a cross into the box, but it was too high for fullback Jordan Harvey.
The Caps continued to press, and in the thirty-third minute Manneh made a surging run across the top of the box drawing several defenders towards him. Manneh's shot-cum-pass was neatly backheeled into the goal by an off-balance Techera for his fourth goal of the season.
In the forty-third minute defender Tim Parker was called for a foul on Fabian Castillo just outside the Vancouver area. Referee Ismail Elfath awarded Dallas the free kick, but Steven Beitashour in the wall headed the ball clear.
Neither Vancouver's Carl Robinson and Dallas' Oscar Pareja made any substitutions to start the second half, but Pareja made the first change of the night bringing Tesho Akindele in to replace Blas Perez in the fifty-eighth minute.
At this point in the match the Caps were sitting back and absorbing the pressure, and were forced to defend several dangerous crosses made by the tricky Michael Barrios from the right flank. The Caps were not making the most of possession at this point in the match, and were fortunate the Dallas were unable to manufacture any goal scoring chances of note from their forays into the Caps' area.
In the closing minutes of the match FC Dallas made several unorganized attempts to find a late equalizer, but the Whitecaps' defense stood strong and Vancouver held on for the victory.
With the victory over FC Dallas the Whitecaps have set a new team record fourteen wins in a season, which betters the previous record of thirteen that was set by Martin Rennie's Whitecaps in 2013.
Post Match Interviews (unedited):
Budweiser Man of the Match: Cristian Techera
Referee: Ismail Elfath
32' - VAN - Cristian Techera (Kekuta Manneh)
Shots: Vancouver 7 - Dallas 7
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 2 - Dallas 2
Saves: Vancouver 2 - Dallas 1
Fouls: Vancouver 13 - Dallas 10
Offsides: Vancouver 1 - Dallas 1
Corners: Vancouver 5 - Dallas 4
24' - VAN - Cristian Techera
35' - DAL - Atiba Harris
85' - VAN - Christian Dean
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey (22.Christian Dean 78'); 15.Matías Laba, 28.Gershon Koffie; 13.Cristian Techera (9.Nicolás Mezquida 82'), 77.Pedro Morales © (7.Mauro Rosales 68'), 23.Kekuta Manneh; 29.Octavio Rivero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 11.Darren Mattocks, 31.Russell Teibert, 88.Robert Earnshaw
44.Jesse Gonzalez; 14.Atiba Harris, 27.Je-Vaughn Watson, 24.Matt Hedges ©, 17.Zach Lloyd; 21.Michael Barrios, 8.Victor Ulloa (12.Ryan Hollingshead 84'), 23.Kellyn Acosta, 11.Fabian Castillo; 7.Blas Perez (13.Tesho Akindele 58'), 20.Rolando Escobar (9.David Texeira 73')
Substitutes not used
18.Chris Seitz, 5.Ezequiel Cirigliano, 25.Walker Zimmerman, 31.Michel