There was plenty of action to go around Saturday night at BC Place, but it all it took was an early Pedro Morales penalty kick to give the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo.
The Morales spot kick made his fourth of 2016, accounting for all of his goals on the young season. It came after Houston’s Jalil Anibaba tripped up Masato Kudo as he tracked a far-post cross.
It’s Vancouver’s second straight win, after posting two straight losses to start the season, while Houston fell for the second straight game.
There were plenty of chances for both sides, which combined for 29 shots (11 on target).
The home side had the best of it early, nearly opening the scoring in the third minute when Cristian Techera was played free on a long header, but he was unable to put his open look on frame. Another Vancouver chance came on the counter in the 15th minute when Fraser Aird’s quick one-touch through ball to Kudo required a reaction save from Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Houston drew woodwork twice, with the first coming in the 30th minute on a close-range Leonel Miranda volley in front of goal and then in the 72nd minute when Ricardo Clark rolled a long-distance shot off the post.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2-2-0; 6 points) vs. Houston Dynamo (1-2-1; 4 points)
MLS Regular Season
March 26, 2016 – BC Place – Vancouver, British Columbia
Attendance: 22,120 (sellout)
Vancouver: Pedro Morales 4 (penalty) 23
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Jalil Anibaba, Raúl Rodríguez, David Horst, DaMarcus Beasley ©; Andrew Wenger (Abdoulie Mansally 58), Alex Lima, Ricardo Clark, Cristian Maidana (Mauro Manotas 64), Leonel Miranda; Will Bruin (Rob Lovejoy 81)
Substitutes Not Used: Calle Brown, Agus Garcia, Sheanon Williams, David Rocha
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Ricardo Clark 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Will Bruin 1, Andrew Wenger 1, DaMarcus Beasley 1, Alex Lima 1, Ricardo Clark 1); FOULS: 16 (Alex Lima 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Cristian Maidana 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Leonel Miranda 4); SAVES: 5 (Joe Willis 5)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: David Ousted; Fraser Aird, Pa Modou Kah, Andrew Jacobsen, Jordan Harvey; Cristian Techera (Sam Adekugbe 69), Matías Laba, Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh (Nicolás Mezquida 86); Masato Kudo (Jordan Smith 78), Octavio Rivero
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Deybi Flores, Erik Hurtado, Cole Seiler
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Octavio Rivero 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Octavio Rivero 3); FOULS: 16 (Octavio Rivero 3, Pa Modou Kah 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Octavio Rivero 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Cristian Techera 2); SAVES: 5 (David Ousted 5)
VAN: Matias Laba (caution) 77
VAN: Pa Modou Kah (caution) 90+2
Referee: David Gantar
Referee’s Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert, Jeremy Hanson
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi