Fredy Montero scored a game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time, sending the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo at BC Place on Saturday in a matchup between the bottom two teams in the Western Conference.
After a scoreless first half, the Whitecaps found the opener in the 54th minute after Manotas was whistled for a handball while defending a free kick in his own box, drawing a penalty kick whistle from referee Robert Sibiga. Hwang slotted home the ensuing look from the spot, giving the home side the 1-0 lead.
Houston got the leveler in the 78th, however, courtesy of a point-blank rebound finish from Manotas after a save by Whitecaps goalkeeper Zac MacMath deflected right in front of goal.
The game looked headed for a 1-1 draw, but Montero played the hero role after coming on as a second-half substitute, cashing home the game-winner just a few minutes before the final whistle off an assist from Theo Bair. Houston had one final chance to level the contest, but Memo Rodriguez saw a free kick from a dangerous spot go just wide of goal, allowing the Whitecaps to snatch all three points.
- 54' - VAN - Hwang In-Beom (PK) | WATCH
- 78' - HOU - Mauro Manotas | WATCH
- 90' - VAN - Fredy Montero | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Whitecaps remain in the Western Conference basement at 7-15-9 and 30 points, but it was a nice win in dramatic fashion in front of their home crowd. For the Dynamo, it's the continuation of a 2019 campaign that has seen them struggle mightily once again to procure positive results on the road, as this knocks Houston's record away from home to a dismal 2-13-0 on the season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It has to be Montero's game-winner, which made for an exciting ending to a game that featured precious little attacking fireworks.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Hwang has been a bright spot in a frustrating campaign for Vancouver and he was active once again on Saturday, showcasing some of the pinpoint passing and playmaking ability that makes him an intriguing piece for the Whitecaps to build around as they look forward to next season.