Whitecaps At Dynamo Play To A Hot, Humid, Sweaty And Action Packed 0-0 Draw
The Whitecaps at Dynamo Played to a 0-0 draw Wednesday night from BBVA Stadium. The home side would pressure early in the first half against a rotated squad for Vancouver. Maxime Crepeau was the star of the show despite the Whitecaps bringing on the big guns in the second half. It was an interesting 90 minutes so let’s get right to the action… Or lack thereof.
Lineup News And Notes
The Vancouver Whitecaps and head coach Vanni Sartini would make five changes to the lineup after the 1-0 victory over FC Dallas. Maxime Crepeau would start between the sticks but injuries on the backline would force Vancouver to go with Jake Nerwinski, Michael Baldisimo, and Andy Rose as a back three. Janio Bikel and Leonard Owusu were flanked in the midfield by Patrick Metcalfe and Javain Brown. Ryan Gauld got the start off with Ryan Raposo dropping into that number 10 role. Lucas Cavallini and Cristian Dajome would start up top for the Whitecaps at Dynamo FC.
For the Houston Dynamo, head coach Tab Ramos would make a slight formation change to a 3-4-1-2 and 2 changes to the starting lineup. They looked to have a better result than the 2-0 loss against Minnesota United FC. Michael Nelson would start in the net with a front three of Maynor Figueroa, Teenage Hadebe, and former Whitecap Tim Parker.
In the middle of the park, Houston would go with Sam Junqua, Darwin Ceren, Matias Vera, and Griffin Dorsey from left to right. The Caps killer, Darwin Quintero would live up to his name with chances at number 10 with Fafa Picault and Corey Baird looking to get on the service up top. Houston was fielding the stronger lineup as they hosted the Whitecaps Wednesday night. But they play the match for a reason so let’s see how the action went in the first half.
Whitecaps at Dynamo Play To A 0-0 1st Half Draw
Houston would kick things off to start the first half and control it from the back. An attempt down the left side was turned away before they turned it over to the Whitecaps. The teams would trade possession until the first foul by Bikel in the 3rd minute. It was a timid start for the home as they would turn it over once again. Another foul and more turnovers from either side. It was a nice road start for the Whitecaps as we moved into the 7th minute with very little action.
The first real chance came in the 8th minute from Houston down the left side. Junqua was given far too much room and crossed a great ball into the box. Quintero was able to get a shot away but it was wide of the net. Houston was right back in working through the left side with another cross. It was headed straight up from Picault and grabbed easily by Maxime Crepeau.
A bad clearance almost ended in the back of the net as the home side would continue the attack. A ball over the top was played poorly by the back 3 and Picault was able to come in alone. His shot beat Crepeau but came right off the post and back to the Vancouver keeper. Houston would win back possession and cross it in from the right side in the 12th minute. Picault was once again on the end of the cross but couldn’t get the header down. It was a very nervous start for the Whitecaps at Dynamo with the early chances.
Owusu would finally win things back for Vancouver in the 14th minute but it was wasted. Andy Rose looked for a long ball to Ryan Raposo but he was called for a foul. Houston was right back in and would win the first corner of the match after Baldisimo cleared it out of the touchline. The ball was delivered by Quintero to the top of the box and a header from Figueroa was deflected out for another corner. It was taken short and the cross was cleared by Javain Brown. The 2nd phase would run through the box and allow Vancouver to slow things down.
The Whitecaps would start to test the final third of Houston in the 18th minute. A back heal attempt by Cavallini was cleared but Vancouver was able to remain on the ball momentarily. After the Dynamo was able to win back possession Brown was forced to make a great defensive play down the left side. He got tied up and was down on the pitch for several minutes getting treatment but was okay to continue. We moved past the 20th minute as the score remained 0-0 for the Whitecaps at Dynamo.
The home side would win another corner kick in the 21st minute and elected to send the delivery to the top of the box. Quintero was able to pick out a wide-open Figueroa but his header was far over the net. Houston would remain in control of possession as the Whitecaps looked to be trying to hold on until halftime. A ball chipped into the box was cleared out for a 24th-minute throw for the Dynamo. They would keep pressing and win another corner but it was cleared by Vancouver. A rare chance for the Whitecaps to counter but they choose to play it back and slow things down.
It was brief as Rose would go over the top on a nice ball to Ryan Raposo. He wasn’t able to link up with Cavallini and after turning the ball over Baldisimo would foul Picault. It was all Houston as another cross in the 27th minute from Fafa was snatched up from Maxime Crepeau. Lucas Cavallini would go down on the pitch in the 28th minute and was slow to get up and had a noticeable limp. Vancouver would win a throw down the right side but Houston cleared and was able to spring Picault. Andy Rose was in a great position and was able to get a great block on the shot.
Another cross by Houston to Quintero and Crepeau was in a great spot to make the chance look less dangerous than it was. Vancouver would win a foul in the 31st minute after Dajome was fouled by Tim Parker. It was short-lived and the Dynamo were back into the Whitecaps end. Several chances to cross the ball in would eventually lead to a goal kick and Crepeau would take as long as he possibly could. The Whitecaps at Dynamo would start to control things a bit more but a cross into the box to Cavallini was called offside. With the lineup to start the match, Vanni Sartini would be happy with the score in the 34th minute.
The Whitecap’s best chance would come just after but a shot from Cristian Dajome was wide of the net and out for a Nelson goal kick. Things would slow back down again as we moved past the 36th minute of play. Houston would get sloppy with the ball and turn it over before Darwin Ceren would foul Ryan Raposo. Vancouver would get a chance for a set-piece opportunity and Baldisimo would deliver it into the box. Cavallini wasn’t able to get a good header on the cross and it was cleared out for a Whitecaps throw. Houston was able to win back possession as the first half ticked away.
Things would go back and forth before the Dynamo would win another corner in the 41st minute. Dorsey did some nice work down the left side but it was cleared away by Metcalfe. The corner was sent it and eventually came to the other side of the pitch. It was a great play but the final result from Baird was sent wide of the far post and the Whitecaps could exhale. The physicality would pick up in the 1st half but the action would remain stagnant. Owusu and Dorsey would collide in the 44th minute but Dorsey would be alright.
The 4th official would signal an additional 2 minutes of action and Picault would try and draw a foul against Janio Bikel. Alan Kelly would waive Picault up but Houston would win a late free-kick. It was cleared by Owusu before Dajome was able to clear it out for a throw. The Whitecaps at Dynamo would hold off for the remaining seconds and close to the half tied up 0-0.
The Two Teams Saw Off For A Scoreless 2nd Half
3 changes for Vanni Sartini as Brian White would replace Cavallini up top, Brian Jungwirth would come on for Owusu and Deiber Caicedo would replace Metcalfe. Houston would pick up where they started the 1st half on the attack and a cross into the box early was cleared by Jungwirth. Quintero would be left open by Brown and his cross-in was headed over the net for a corner by Jungwirth. 2 early clears from the German but Houston had a corner kick. It was cleared before the second phase would be played in but run too long and right to Crepeau. Baldisimo was shown a yellow card in the 47th minute for a foul on Quintero.
Despite the changes, it was the Dynamo that looked liked the hungrier team and Crepeau had to come up huge in the 51st minute. A great pass right to Quintero but his shot was stopped by the Caps keeper before Nerwinski was able to tip it back. Houston was trying to attack the backline of Vancouver that was playing at a mid-depth. The Whitecaps at Dynamo would win their first corner of the match in the 53rd minute. Raposo would swing it into the box but it was cleared by Vera for another corner kick. The second corner was at the top of the box to Dajome but would be headed out for a goal kick.
Dajome would be shown a yellow card in the 55th minute after stomping on the foot of Junqua. It did allow the pace of the match to slow down which was to the liking of the away side. The danger continued for Vancouver as Janio Bikel would haul down Baird but Alan Kelly would play possession. Dorsey would move down the right side but his cross was long and over top of the net for a Vancouver goal kick. Houston would win the ball back right away and Quintero would have a go from distance. His shot was wide as he couldn’t seem to find his touch through the first 58 minutes of the match.
Off the goal kick, Dajome would win a free kick on the long ball from Crepeau. Vanni Sartini would make another sub bringing on Ryan Gauld for Ryan Raposo looking to spark more of an attack for the Whitecaps at Dynamo. It was the home side that would move in once again but a great defensive play from Dajome to get back and clear things relieved the pressure. Ryan Gauld would get his first chance on the ball and it seemed to change things instantly for Vancouver as they looked more comfortable passing it around.
Caicedo would try and dance into the box in the 60th minute but was turned back. Nerwinksi would hold possession with some strong work on the ball and be forced to play it back to Andy Rose. They would try the right side but it was stopped by Houston and they tried to counter. Baird would look for some room before switching sides to Quintero. He would slip and Vancouver would get a chance to clear for the moment. Picault would try and get on the end of a long ball in but Jungwirth was right there to cut out the attack. The score remained 0-0 as we moved past the 62nd minute for the Whitecaps at Dynamo.
The physicality would pick up as Houston appeared to be getting frustrated. Some movement on the sidelines and Tab Ramos would make his first substitution of the match bringing on Tyler Pasher for Corey Baird. Vancouver would win a throw and try and find some space but a nice play from Tim Parker to body Dajome and the ball would roll out for a goal kick. After the teams would trade the ball back and forth Caicedo would win a foul against Figueroa in the 66th minute. The Whitecaps at Dynamo would play it back before almost turning it over.
Vancouver was dictating play more in the second half with fresh bodies on the pitch. The defensive shape was much better and it allowed the progressive play to the midfield to be more dynamic. Houston wasn’t going away as Picault would try and work down the right side to the touchline. His cut-back was cleared by the Whitecaps but the Dynamo would stay on possession. It was cleared once again and ran just long enough for a counterattack. Gauld tried to find Brain White but it was offside while Gauld was falling over making the pass. It summed up the match so far.
Maxime Crepeau would be called on once again in the 71st minute on a cross from Houston. He took no chances and dove out to block the cross before he was able to dive on the rebound. The Houston fans were starting to get a bit restless as the boss would come down as we moved into the 73rd minute of action. The Whitecaps had a chance to slow things down after Picault was called offside, but instead promptly turned the ball over. Russell Teibert would make his way onto the pitch replacing Janio Bikel in the 75th minute for the Whitecaps at Dynamo.
Javain Brown would be sprung down the left side but his cut-back into the box was cleared away by Houston. There were just no options in the box for Vancouver which made it very hard to score. Caicedo would be sent in on a long ball but after losing position he was forced to pull down Hadebe and Houston was back in control. They didn’t waste any time to try and get the opening goal of the match. Pasher would unleash a shot from distance and Crepeau was able to get two hands on the shot. It would spill out but Quintero and Jungwirth would battle to the ball with Jungwirth just kicking it out for a corner.
It was delivered in but Jungwirth was in the right spot to clear the danger once again. Vancouver was holding on as they cleared in the 79th minute. Houston looked to open the scoring in the 80th minute but Picault was offside before firing the ball into the back of the net. The score would remain 0-0 and Ramos would make another change. It was Picaults last effort of action as Maxime Urruti would replace him with just 10 minutes left in regular time. The Whitecaps would get a chance on the ball but a chip from Caicedo trying to find White would run right to Nelson.
After turnovers from both teams, Houston would win a throw down the left side. Dajome would win the ball back after a foul and the Whitecaps at Dynamo were able to move ahead. The ball would fall right to Ryan Gauld and he would have a shot from distance on Nelson but he was able to get back on his line. Things would pick up as we moved towards the end of the match. Houston would get a great chance but Dorsey was stopped by Crepeau and it was out for a corner. It was cleared away but the home side would continue pressing. Dorsey would let go a shot from distance but it was out for a goal kick.
The Whitecaps at Dynamo would try and strike quickly but a cross from Dajome was just out of the reach of Ryan Gauld. After Houston would turn it over Vancouver would hold onto the ball for as long as they could before turning it back over to Houston. The teams would trade turnovers and Gauld would get another attempt on net. He would win a corner kick and it was deflected to the back post to Dajome. He was able to get a shot but it was deflected out for another corner. A foul was called on Vancouver before a late substitution from the Dynamo. Memo Rodriguez would come on for Vera in the 90th minute.
The Whitecaps at Dynamo would have to contest 3 minutes of added time. Houston would win a free-kick late and try and move in for a late goal. Dorsey would move into the box but his pass for Dorsey was heavy and The Whitecaps at Dynamo could watch the last couple of seconds tick away. Vanni Sartini would earn the road point in the 0-0 draw. With the squad rotation and the road conditions, it was a win in some sense for the Whitecaps.
Post Match Thoughts And Media
Vanni Sartini was asked about his team’s performance in the match, “It was very hard. We knew that it was going to be very hard with the quick turnaround and especially the long flight yesterday and the condition here, and the fact that they are a good team. So we knew that they probably would have more possession than us and we would have to defend. I envisioned that maybe we should have defended a little less and had more of the ball, but we defended very well with a lower block.”
“In the second half, we did better when we had the ball. The problem in the first half was also that when we won the ball back, we were too frantic and trying to go over, while when you play in this condition, we need to keep possession as much as we can because the humidity really kills, really, really, really kills you.” He would continue about the play of keeper Maxime Crepeau.
“I’m very happy because Max is a very good goalkeeper, he’s a fantastic leader. But I’m also happy that I have Thomas [Hasal] on the bench because even Thomas if you remember when he played against Austin. We have two really solid choices there. I know that it’s difficult, I played as a goalkeeper, and I believe there was like 75,000 worse than those guys. So I know when someone is good.”
Florian Jungwirth joined the media next and I asked him what it was going to be like to play his former team, San Jose, on the weekend, “It’s a special game for me. I’ve been in this club for four and a half years at a fantastic time. I really liked the players, the coaching staff. So really happy to see friendly faces. But on the field man, I have a mission, I want the points and whoever comes against me I’m going to destroy him.”
Jake Nerwinski spoke next about playing the match in a back 3 role, “t’s been a bit different, especially playing on the left side. I had a good conversation with Vanni, he thinks I have the attributes to be able to play there. I had a lot of help from Flo and Andy. I said this before, they have 10 plus years of experience playing and they have helped me a lot, kind of get more comfortable with the position.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
Well you know we won’t be having The Unnamed Goal Of The Match tonight but we can have The Unnamed Save! Maxime Crepeau was lights out once again for his 5th clean sheet of the season. We also had a sweaty moment in media and all of your reactions from Twitter.
The Unnamed Save Of The Match
After stopping a penalty late against FC Dallas on the weekend Maxime Crepeau carried his brilliant play into Texas. He made 4 saves and none were more timely than this one in the 84th minute.
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
Poor Flo 🙁 He can’t help how sweaty he got Wednesday night playing an amazing match after coming off the bench in the second half. Jake Nerwinski went to sit in the chair for the final player of media and immediately grabbed a new chair.
The Unnamed Twitter Reaction To The Match
Lots of reaction on Twitter to the Whitecaps at Dynamo 0-0 draw…
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps get a valuable road point Wednesday night against Houston Dynamo. The point keeps Vancouver in the MLS Western Conference playoff race. The Whitecaps sit 3 points back of 7th place but, just 4 and 5 points away from LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake with a game in hand.
The action doesn’t stop for the Whitecaps as they will host San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at BC Place. Make sure to check back to the Sports Talk Line Website for the latest news and notes about your Vancouver Whitecaps. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for even more Caps content.
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