Le Toux penalty kick lifts Vancouver past Houston 1-0
Long Tan keeps drawing penalty kicks and Sébastien Le Toux keeps putting them away as the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic play on Sunday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.
The win is the second in a row for the Whitecaps, while the Dynamo suffered their first defeat of the tournament.
Tan, who drew a penalty kick against Montreal two days earlier, kept up the antics against Houston. Just 15 minutes in, the forward was felled by Dynamo right back Warren Creavalle inside the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Le Toux stepped up – as he did against the Impact – and calmly slotted the ball inside the post to give Vancouver the 1-0 lead.
The Canadian outfit nearly made it 2-0 right off the bat. Midfielder Gershon Koffie spotted Houston 'keeper Tyler Deric off his line and, from about 50 yards away, sent a looping ball towards the net that Deric just managed to get to.
In the 28th minute, Tan drew yet another penalty kick when he was knocked to the turf by Deric near the edge of the box. This time, Tan stepped up to the spot himself, but his cheeky chip attempt didn't fool Deric, who stood his ground in the middle of the goal and easily cradled the shot.
Both teams made a handful of changes in the second half, but neither side managed to break through, although the Dynamo came close to leveling the score in the 80th minute, when Brad Davis sent a cross into the box that Brian Ching met with his head but drove high.
With the result, the Whitecaps stand atop Group 1 with six points and will take on Sporting KC in the final match of the group on Wednesday.
Houston, meanwhile, still stand on one point and will take on Montreal, also on Wednesday.
VAN - Sébastien Le Toux, 15’ (penalty kick)
HOU – Tyler Deric, 28'
VAN – Jordan Harvey, 54'
HOU – Warren Creavalle, 54'
Houston Dynamo – Tyler Deric; Warren Creavalle, Nathan Sturgis, Andre Hainault, Oscar Recio; Josue Soto (Luiz Camargo 71), Emerson Sato (Alex Dixon 71), Colin Rolfe (Brad Davis 57); Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ching 71), Cam Weaver (Calen Carr 71), Eder Arreola (Brian Ownby 57)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Brad Knighton; Greg Klazura, Michael Boxall, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey; Lee Nguyen (Russell Teibert 45), Gershon Koffie (Bryce Alderson 45'), Matt Watson, Michael Nanchoff (Bilal Duckett 75); Sebastien Le Toux (Caleb Clarke 67, Jun Marques Davidson 78), Long Tan (Darren Mattocks 82)
FULL HIGHLIGHTS: Vancouver 1, Houston 0