Whitecaps Concede Late Yet Again to Earn a 2-2 Draw Against FC Dallas

by Michael Martinez
Image via Vancouver Whitecaps Twitter

Heading into a bottom of the table battle on Sunday night, it was important that the Whitecaps get literally anything from this match. They needed a way to stop from being even further down in the Western Conference standings. Which is hard considering they are at the bottom right now. 

Dallas has never been too kind to Vancouver as the Whitecaps have only picked up one win in the last 10 matches. History was not on the Whitecaps’ side heading into this one. 

After 90 minutes and eight minutes of extra time (MY GOD), the Whitecaps left Texas with a single point. Although it was a 2-2 draw, that felt like a loss after giving up their fourth stoppage time goal in four matches. Throwing away a half time lead that had seen Lucas Cavallini cancel out Ricardo Pepi’s opener and Andy Rose sending them into the break up by one. 

This seems to be becoming a trend for the Whitecaps as of late and I am not here for it. Their season is far from over, but it’s starting to hang in the balance here. Lost points, like the ones they saw slip away from them in this game, have played a huge role in that.

Lineups

Vancouver Whitecaps: 4-3-3

FC Dallas: 4-2-3-1

Match Details

Scoring Summary

22′ – DAL – Ricardo Pepi (assisted by Jesús Ferreira)

30′ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (assisted by Cristian Dájome)

45’+2 – VAN – Andy Rose (assisted by Déiber Caicedo)

90’+4 – DAL – Ranko Veselinović (own goal)

Statistics

Possession: DAL 57.3 – VAN 42.7

Shots: DAL 17 – VAN 5

Shots on Goal: DAL 8 – VAN 2

Saves: DAL 0 – VAN 7

Fouls: DAL 11 – VAN 11

Offsides: DAL 0 – VAN 1

Corners: DAL 7 – VAN 5

Cautions

18′ – DAL – Jáder Obrian (yellow)

45’+3 – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (yellow)

67′ – DAL – Bryan Acosta (yellow)

72′ – VAN – Caio Alexandre (yellow)

’90’+1 – VAN – Patrick Metcalfe (yellow)

90’+5 – VAN – Jake Nerwinski (yellow)

 

Match Report

“I understand exactly where we are. I don’t want to give a rallying call or anything like that, but I hope the people see that and choose to stick with us. We need to become more consistent. In these last few weeks going up against good teams away from home, I think we’ve shown a lot of really encouraging passages of play. I think we’re getting really comfortable in this 4-3-3. There’s a real identity forming.” 

To start off the match, Marc Dos Santos only made one single change in the lineup for this one. Javain Brown coming back in at right back, with Janio Bikel moving back into the midfield, and Michael Baldisimo dropping out with an injury.

FC Dallas getting an early boost from their home fans really helped them settle into the match right away. Having started strong, Dallas’ Ricardo Pepi, managed first to pick up an excellent left-footed chance after a good pass, before getting a shot off the rebound after a Crepeau save. Then, despite the second point-blank chance, Crepeau’s heroics kept the game at 0-0 early on. 

It took only ten minutes for them to get the breakthrough and it was the young American, Pepi, who did the damage. After running between the two Whitecaps centre backs, he headed home a powerful Jesus Ferreira cross in the 23rd minute. Crepeau got a hand to it, and perhaps could have got a stronger one on it, but it was 1-0 Dallas.

While it was a frustrating goal to see, you have to commend the Whitecaps’ ability to fight right back. Many feared the worst but the Whitecaps made sure to end those fears moments later. 

Miraculously in the 30th minute, Cristian Dajome broke up the right, sending a low ball into the box that a Dallas defender failed to clear. The ball broke to Cavallini, who took a nice sideways touch to make room and fire home past Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer to level the match and score Vancouver’s first, first half goal of the season. It’s taken them a while but I will take it.

That looked to be the last of the first half action as the game’s one minute of stoppage time came and nearly went. Suddenly, again from nowhere, from another Dallas defensive error, the Whitecaps found themselves in a shock lead. 

The Whitecaps found themselves a way to claw the game back in their favor. Deiber Caicedo stepped up to take a corner right at the 45th minute. He delivered in a beautiful cross finding Andy Rose for a towering header to give the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead heading into the break!

Going into the half with confidence, it felt as though the Whitecaps could pull through and snap out of this winless funk. A funk lasting 6 games might I add. But FC Dallas did not give in without a fight. Being down at the break sprung some life into the home team and they laid siege on the Whitecaps defenders. 

Unsurprisingly, the Whitecaps were having trouble getting out of their half and were unable to create anything. To be fair, they were also dealing with everything that Dallas was throwing at them. This continued for the rest of the half as the Whitecaps hunkered down and dried to defend their lead. 

The match settled down after a couple of Dallas chances but nothing really came of them. That was all until stoppage time came. After what has happened the last four games, we kind of knew what to expect from the Whitecaps in this situation. 

Dallas continued to push, and with that, the Whitecaps’ lead disappeared, as Dallas found their breakthrough in the 93rd minute. After a dangerous ball in from a wide area, defenders Rose and substitute Ranko Veselinovic crossed their signals at the near post, and the ball bounced off of Vesel and in for the own goal.

This one stung like a wasp. While it seemed as though things were starting to change, it just all came right back. Vancouver will breathe a sigh of relief at not giving up another stoppage time winner. The one goal they did give up will certainly have them leaving Texas with the feeling of two points tossed out the window. 

Questions have to be asked about the laps in judgement in extra time. The fact that there is now a pattern for Whitecaps defenders to just click off during extra time. This should not be happening so frequently. The team almost appears like they don’t want to shoot for that third goal but rather sit back and wait. 

The best form of defense is to attack, but despite MDS wanting this from his players, they just seem unable to get themselves out of these situations. Whether it’s the coaching or the players, something needs to change soon. 

Getting a point out of two tough opponents like Seattle and Dallas may be considered a win for some, but the Dallas draw feels like points lost as opposed to the latter. Every point is crucial at this stage of the season. Things are gearing up and it’s time for teams to step up. 

Some will say the Whitecaps are unbeaten in two, but all I see is one win out of ten matches. They are bottom of the table, six points off a playoff spot, and are still with a #10. So many factors go into this teams’ rough season and it’s a long road ahead. Let’s see if they can get back onto the right track. 

 

The Whitecaps find themselves with a mid-week match-up with Utah neighbors Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium this Wednesday, July 7. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT. You can catch the match live on TSN1/4 and ESPN+

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