An early goal for the Houston Dynamo provided the foundation for a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at BBVA Stadium.
The Dynamo got off to an ideal start when Memo Rodriguez scored in the eighth minute. Fafa Picault made a run down the left side of the pitch and sent a cross into the box, which Maxime Crepeau saved. The goalkeeper, however, sent the ball straight back into the box and Rodriguez made a run to the perfect place and wasted no time finishing the chance.
While the Whitecaps looked to rally for an equalizer, the Dynamo reasserted their control and scored a second three minutes before halftime. Rodriguez this time provided the assist, sending a corner to the far post where it fell straight at the feet of Maxi Urruti. Though all he had available to him was a tight angle, the forward hit a stunning shot on the volley to double the Dynamo's lead.
The hosts remained in the ascendency to start the second half, but the openness seen at times during the first half was missing at the start of the second. The Whitecaps ended a streak of 47 minutes without a shot through a 68th minute effort from Lucas Cavallini, which also marked the team's first shot on goal. The hosts had a few more opportunities of their own, including a 75th minute long distance shot from Joe Corona that got close, but didn't make it on frame.
Houston allowed Vancouver back in the game in the 80th minute, making an error to allow Deiber Caicedo to score. The Dynamo defense was lackadaisical playing out of the back, and Ryan Raposo was able to regain possession. He sent the ball to Cavallini, who then passed to Caicedo to his left and the offseason arrival made his way around goalkeeper Marko Maric and scored through a crowd on the goal line.
The goal sparked a late Whitecaps surge for an equalizer, though the Dynamo did just enough to fight off any pressure from the visitors.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Dynamo continue their unbeaten home run in 2021 with a solid team performance, doing more with their chances than a Whitecaps team that experienced a cold spell for half of the match. The win moves Houston comfortably above the playoff line in the West while Vancouver have now lost three in a row.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Maxi Urruti's goal proved to be the cushion the Dynamo needed to pick up the three points, and scoring from a tight angle made it a contender for AT&T Goal of the Week.
GOAL: Maximiliano Urruti, Houston Dynamo FC - 42nd minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: It was a strong night for the Dynamo attack, with Memo Rodriguez leading the way. His goal and assist were the rewards for an active performance in front of goal.
- HOU: Saturday, May 29 at Sporting Kansas City | 8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | 2021 regular season
- VAN: Friday, June 18 at Real Salt Lake | 10 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | 2021 regular season