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Better Performance, But Script Stays the Same

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Vancouver Whitecaps fall 2-1 to Houston Dynamo

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps came to a place where they had never won, looking to change that pattern. Despite having back-to-back road victories and three good road performances, the outcome ended up the same as the Houston Dynamo defeated the Caps 2-1.

For the fourth time in a row -a record for Vancouver-, Carl Robinson started the same 11. The Caps were almost down early, after long-time expected Whitecaps signing Romell Quioto just missed slotting home a nice cross.

That good fortune would not last however, as Alberth Elis put the Dynamo ahead in the 15th minute, thanks to a beautifully crossed ball from Quioto, which Elis headed home.

The Whitecaps had plenty of set-piece opportunities in the first half, with the Dynamo getting foul happy. Houston was lucky to escape the first half with only one yellow card. It looked like Vancouver was getting lucky, as goalscorer Elis left the match in the 31st minute because of injury. Unfortunately, that just meant that Whitecaps-Killer Erick Torres was coming on. GREAT!!

Despite being down 1-0 at half-time, the Vancouver Whitecaps looked comfortable and there was certainly optimism that they could get the equalizer in the second half. While the Caps had opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second half, the defining moment came in the 67th minute, when Kendall Waston was called for hauling down Manotas in the box. As I am in the United States, I was watching the MLS Live version of the match and thus the Houston Dynamo broadcast team. Even their broadcast team saw it as a questionable call, stating that they would be fine if no penalty was called, noting that the call may have been more about Waston’s size than a foul. Where have we heard that one before?

On the plus side, we have this great stare down from Waston

Anyway, the poor referee decision ended up proving costly for the Whitecaps as Killer Robot Torres put the ball in the bottom corner, giving the Dynamo a 2-0 lead.

Down by multiple goals in the past, it was not uncommon to see little pushback from the Whitecaps, in attempt to claw their way back into the contest. However, a positive to take from this match, and maybe something to see as a change in the squad this season, was that Vancouver showed some resilience and fight, having multiple chances over the final 20 minutes.

The team’s hard work was rewarded again by substitute Brek Shea who headed in a ball from a Christian Bolanos set-piece. To say he headed in the ball is a bit of an understatement as it was more of a bullet shot. Great goal. It is important to note that this is Shea’s third goal in three matches, but really third in around 40 minutes. Just sayin’.

While the Whitecaps had a few more chances, including a last minute one semi-open net header from Parker, they were unable to get the 2-2 draw, instead leaving Houston with a defeat.

That means they finish their four-match road trip with a respectable two wins and two losses, but four solid performances. What were your thoughts on the match?