Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps was a game of swings for the Houston Dynamo.
Firmly behind the eight ball after conceding an early goal and absorbing pressure for the first quarter hour, the visitors put their foot on the gas and spent the next 50-plus minutes in Vancouver's half of the field. Houston, as they've done this year on the road, saw long spells where they dominated possession and put the host’s goal under siege.
HIGHLIGHTS: VAN 3, HOU 1
However, the Dynamo were unable to turn that possession and pressure into an all-important goal. And when the final 25 minutes yielded two more goals to the 'Caps, the Dynamo were left to lament missed opportunities.
“I thought we had enough chances to score more than one goal today,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told the media after the match. “We had some good looks on goal, [Vancouver goalkeeper] Joe Cannon had some good saves and you have to give him credit.”
Cannon came up big, making three saves and clearing his area numerous times. In the end, the goalkeeper’s performance and Houston’s inability to capitalize were enough to keep the Dynamo from equalizing during their stretch of domination.
“The way we started the game was a problem for us,” Kinnear said. “On the road to carry possession was great, but the most important thing is the result.”
Rookie impressive in first start
Houston filled two starting spots on the backline with first-time defensive starters, with rookie Warren Creavalle taking up the cause at right back. Matched up with one of MLS’ most creative players, Davide Chiumiento, the rookie earned high marks both for his ability to control the flank and push the attack forward.
“He’s been playing well in practice and got the opportunity to play today and battled very hard,” Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “All in all, if he continues to play in practice and like he did in this game here, I think he’s going to have a little career for himself in MLS.”
Bittersweet tally for Kandji
Notching your first goal is normally a happy occasion for any player, but Mac Kandji's first goal in Dynamo orange was bittersweet considering the result. After the game, the forward certainly wasn't dwelling on his success, especially considering another goal-bound effort was well saved by Cannon
“At the end of the day, we lost, so it didn’t feel good,” Kandji said of his volley. “We were just unlucky today. We’ve got to move on from it and focus on the game against Dallas next Saturday.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.