VANCOUVER, B.C. – A pair of strikes from Darren Mattocks on either side of halftime secured a 3-1 win for the Vancouver Whitecaps over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday evening at BC Place.
The home side was in control through most of the game, but it wasn't until Jordan Harvey's late insurance goal that they could be sure of the result.
It didn’t take long for Mattocks to open his account on the night, turning the ball into the top left corner of Tally Hall’s goal following a fine cross from Young-Pyo Lee from the right, much to the delight of the Vancouver faithful.
WATCH: Full match highlights
Mattocks added his second on 66 minutes, finishing a play masterminded by a fine pass from Gershon Koffie. The Ghanaian midfielder received the ball from Jun Marques Davidson before hitting a perfect pass with the outside of his boot for Mattocks to run onto and finish.
Seven minutes from time, Macoumba Kandji belted home a finish from a Brian Ownby cross, but it wasn’t enough as Harvey scored four minutes later to cancel restore the Whitecaps' two-goal advantage and dash any hopes of a comeback.
There were other chances too – in the 29th minute, Joe Cannon shanked a kick, hitting the ball right into the path of Brian Ching. The former American international was quick to react, attempting a left-footed shot, but his effort went over the bar to the relief of a stranded Cannon.
In the 41st minutes, Cannon redeemed himself, stopping Bobby Boswell from close range, by getting a strong right hand on the defender’s effort to ensure Vancouver went into the break with the lead.
In the 57th minute, Davide Chiumiento had a good chance to double Vancouver’s lead, as he streaked into the left side of the area. His left-footed attempt came from too acute an angle though, and the ball went wide to the right of the goal.
Moments later, Will Bruin made a good run in behind Vancouver’s backline down the right-hand chanel and similarly missed due to a tight angle, firing across Cannon’s goal from close range.
In the 71st minute, the ball fell to Koffie in the box after Houston failed to clear a corner and the midfielder took a touch before hammering a shot at Tally Hall. The Dynamo goalkeeper stood tall, however, parrying the strike away to safety.
In the 84th minute, Mattocks had an opportunity to hit a hat trick, running between two defenders to get on the end of a ball from Koffie, but Hall reacted well to stop the rookie’s low effort.
In stoppage time, Kandji hit a dipping shot from close range as he looked for a second, but Cannon got down quickly to stop the ball, preserving the 3-1 score line.
The Whitecaps, now 6-3-4, are next in action June 16, as they host the Colorado Rapids. The Houston Dynamo, falling to 4-4-4, also play Saturday, taking on Texas rivals FC Dallas back home at BBVA Compass Stadium.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Darren Mattocks||A breakout performance from the young Jamaican. Electric from the start, had two good goals and unfortunate not to get a hat-trick|
|2||Gershon Koffie||Had the ball on a string throughout the game with a number of eye-opening through balls. One assist and should (but won't) be credited with another on the final goal.|
|3||Young-Pyo Lee||You couldn't ask for much more from your right back, who put in excellent crosses on a consistent basis to the tune of an assist and defended astutely.|