Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Houston Dynamo 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

There was plenty of action to go around Saturday night at BC Place, but all it took was an early Pedro Morales penalty kick to give the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo.

The Morales spot kick was his fourth of 2016, accounting for all of his goals on the young season. It came after Houston’s Jalil Anibaba tripped up Masato Kudo as he tracked a far-post cross.

It’s Vancouver’s second straight win, after posting two straight losses to start the season, while Houston fell for the second straight game.

There were plenty of chances for both sides, which combined for 29 shots (11 on target).

The home side had the best of the action early on, nearly opening the scoring in the third minute when Cristian Techera was played free on a long header, but he was unable to put his open look on frame. Another Vancouver chance came on the counter in the 15th minute when Fraser Aird’s quick one-touch through ball to Kudo required a reaction save from Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis.

Houston drew woodwork twice, with the first coming in the 30th minute on a close-range Leonel Miranda volley in front of goal and then in the 72nd minute when Ricardo Clark rolled a long-distance shot off the post.

Box Score

Three Things

  1. HOUSTON GROUNDED: Houston came into the match as the highest scoring team in MLS with 11 goals, a league record through the first three games of the season. But despite 17 shots by the Dynamo  and five on goal  Vancouver were able to hold on for the clean sheet, with David Ousted posting five saves.
  2. DYNAMO ROAD STRUGGLES: The Dynamo started the season with two results, a 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution and a 5-0 rout of FC Dallas two weeks ago, both coming at BBVA Compass Stadium. But they’ve been dealt two straight losses as they hit the road the past two weeks, dropping a wild 4-3 result last weekend to the New York Red Bulls.
  3. NOT BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT: ‘Caps head coach Carl Robinson tweaked his lineup last week, trotting out a 4-4-2 in a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders. He went with it again, this time pairing Kudo alongside Rivero – last week it was Rivero and Blas Perez. The formation seems especially effective in drawing PKs, as both goals last week came via Morales spot kicks. 

Next Up

  • VAN: Saturday, April 2 vs. LA Galaxy (10 pm ET; TSN2)
  • HOU: Sunday, April 10 vs. Seattle Sounders (4 pm ET; ESPN)
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