Houston Dynamo FC defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4-1 at Shell Energy Stadium tonight and will end the night fourth in the Western Conference standings.
Houston is now undefeated in its last seven league matches since July 15, reaching that milestone for the first time since August 2012. The Dynamo are top-five in the conference standings through at least 25 games for the first time since 2017.
Houston opened scoring in the 13th minute, as captain Héctor Herrera’s free kick attempt from just outside the penalty box deflected into the back of the net off the Vancouver wall. The opportunity was set up after forward Nelson Quiñónes was fouled. The goal was the Mexican international’s fourth of the season.
Defender Griffin Dorsey doubled Houston’s lead in the 44th minute, charging into the box from the right side, threading a strike between defenders into the top far corner of the net for his first goal of the season. Forward Corey Baird was credited with the assist, his fifth of the season.
Forward Iván Franco headed home Houston’s third goal in the 73rd minute after diving to meet defender Brad Smith’s cross from the left side of the penalty box. The score marked Franco’s third goal of the season and Smith’s second assist.
The Dynamo netted a fourth in the 84th minute finished off by forward Aliyu Ibrahim inside the six-yard box six minutes after entering the match as a substitute. Smith delivered a ball from the left side to Herrera, who was tackled from behind by a Whitecaps defender. The ball still rolled to the feet of Aliyu, who netted his third goal of the season.
Vancouver scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute, which ultimately deflected in off defender Erik Sviatchenko.
Houston had the first shot of the night as Dorsey was fouled on the right edge of the penalty box. Herrera’s free kick delivery found the head of defender Erik Sviatchenko, but his attempt carried just over the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Steve Clark made his first stop of the night in the 16th minute after Ryan Gauld’s attempt from a set piece tried to dip in to bottom right corner of the net. The veteran shot stopper ended the night with four saves.
Clark was called into action again in the 31st minute after Ali Ahmed tried his chances from outside of the penalty box. The 37-year-old reacted quickly to block the shot with his body and quickly corralled the rebound to quell the danger.
Houston almost netted a second goal in the 38th minute when Herrera found Artur lurking inside the penalty box. Surrounded by defenders, the Brazilian turned on the ball and managed a strong strike that forced a save from goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka. Artur won possession a team-leading seven times.
Clark stepped up again in the 39th minute, making an acrobatic save to the left to deflect Pedro Vite shot from outside the box behind goal.
Defender Teenage Hadebe made a key intervention in the 57th minute, deflecting a dangerous cross into touch after a Whitecaps attacker weaved his way near the right side of the six-yard box. The Zimbabwe international made his first league appearance for the Dynamo since April 22 after recovering from a leg injury. Hadebe led the team with 10 clearances on the night.
The Dynamo close the week in the Kansas City when they face Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park at 7:30 p.m. CT. The team then travels to South Florida to take on Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday, Sept. 27.