The Vancouver Whitecaps beat the Houston Dynamo at BC Place 2-1 thanks to the brilliance of Yordy Reyna and Fredy Montero. It was a game the ‘Caps were, perhaps, lucky to win. However, some big performances that included some key saves from Ousted saw out the win.
The game began without a bang, as both teams traded possession without creating much in the final third, until Reyna dribbled the ball into the box in the 15th minute and was taken down from behind by Boniék Garcia. The PK was immediately called and Fredy Montero stepped up with a perfectly placed strike that brushed the inside of the post with Deric diving the other way. It was such a fine strike I almost wish the keeper had guessed right, just to prove how unstoppable Montero’s placement of the ball truly was. Almost.
The ‘Caps had not entirely asserted themselves in the game before the goal and somehow completely fell off the front foot after. Houston began to control the play and had they not been wasteful in front of goal they would have quickly tied the game. In fact David Ousted was forced to come up big to save this Romell Quioto free kick that just curled in over the wall.
The ‘Caps weathered a stretch where they could not seem to keep the ball, when entirely against the play Montero laid the ball off to Reyna so he could come up with a piece of genius. Reyna cut across the edge of the box and unleashed a curling shot that dipped into the top, far corner. The flight of the ball was sublime enough to make the heart stand still for one splendid moment. The ‘Caps were up 2-0 at the 32nd minute, and somehow in control of a game they never could control.
Vancouver nearly went up a third goal on this strike from Cristian Techera off a Bolaños cross that was well saved by Deric. The Whitecaps left the opening half with a confident 2-0 lead.
The second half began with the Dynamo on the front foot and the ‘Caps continued struggle to make passes and control the ball. By the 51st minute Romell Quioto had his goal and Houston was back in the game.
As Houston pressed for the equalizer, Vancouver came more into the game off the counter. Both teams exchanged chances, but the home team was able to lock down their defence and see the game out.
Despite Vancouver’s struggle to put extended pressure on the Houston defence, they were also able to limit Houston’s opportunities in front of their own net. In this first game of the injured Laba era, Tchani, Jacobson and the two CB’s mostly contained the Dynamo offense and was particularly strong defending corners. Houston may not have played their best game, but it was clear they are a decent team and the ‘Caps should feel fortunate to have held them to only one goal. The ‘Caps should also celebrate the skill and industry of Yordy Reyna that gave them their two goals.
Next up Seattle.