HOUSTON – After the first half of Saturday night's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Houston Dynamo were in a bit of quicksand.
The Dynamo had controlled the opening stanza, dominating the ball and had the edge in most of the important statistical categories. Still, without being able to put chances away, the Dynamo were under pressure after sophomore Darren Mattocks opened his 2013 account in the 36th minute to put Houston behind the eight ball.
In the end, the Dynamo got two in the final 45 minutes to seal a victory. The sources of the two goals, however, were unique as the producers, Giles Barnes and Warren Creavalle, had yet to score a goal in an MLS game.
“I think I’ve had a chance to score in every game we played, so I knew I was due one,” Barnes, who scored his first Dynamo goal in CONCACAF Champions League play last season, said. “It was good to get off the mark and it was good we got the win as well.
“I think they only had two chances in the first half and one was on target for the goal,” Barnes continued. “We know we had the upper-hand and it was just a matter of time until we got one.”
The second half response was what you would expect from the Dynamo. Houston has been dangerous in the final minutes of games this season and although did not leave things until the final 10 minutes, the club did what it has been able to do all season and that is respond when necessary.
The comeback did not come easy. The Whitecaps were up to the challenge and pushed the game in the second half, especially after going down in the 62nd minute. The center of that plan was speed, which the ‘Caps have in droves, but none more evident that Mattocks who was a menace with a goal and several close calls.
“[Mattocks] gets behind every defense, not just us, so you have to make sure communication is good and if he does get behind, you can’t give up on the play,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “When the timing is right and you have speed like that and good passing on the ball, it can cause you problems.”
Despite Mattocks’ exploits, and with a little help from the framework on Camilo’s free kick in the dying minutes, the Dynamo stood up to the challenge and were able to keep their home unbeaten streak going at 33 in all competitions overcoming an tough first half deficit.
“Our home is a fortress so we always have a little bit of an extra lift, kind of like a 12th man,” Barnes said. “We thought we could come here and get the two losses out of our system.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @DarrellLovell.