Vancouver Whitecaps road woes continued in Texas on Wednesday evening, giving up the lead to a Jesus Ferreira double as FC Dallas took all the points in a 2-1 victory.
The Whitecaps haven’t won away from home since they beat Dallas 2-0 on June 18 last year. That’s 11 long months of away agonies. Only four players that started that game started this one, with four of that team no longer even in Vancouver. But the 2023 travelling party couldn’t replicate that road success, despite going ahead midway through the first half after Pedro Vite pounced on a Dallas defensive blunder.
Dallas didn’t look any great shakes themselves but had enough in their tank to grab all the points as Ferreira struck in the 37th and 54th minutes.
The third away match in eight days saw Vanni Sartini try and freshen things up with three changes to the starting line-up from the team that lost i Portland at the weekend.
Dallas edged the opening exchanges and had a couple of looks at goal, without testing Yohei Takaoka too much, although the Japanese keeper did produce a full length save to deny Ferreira in the 15th minute.
Vancouver took the lead in the 23rd minute after a massive helping hand from Dallas keeper Maarten Paes.
The Dutch keeper tried to play the ball out to his defender under pressure but only succeeded in passing it to Vite, who gladly accepted the gift to fire home into the empty net and give the ‘Caps the lead.
Pedro Vite capitalizes to put #VWFC on the board in Dallas.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 18, 2023
Neither team were looking dominant but Dallas turned it up a notch after falling behind and Mathias Laborda got an important foot on the ball in the six yard box to knock the danger away after a scramble in the 35th minute.
Two minutes later, however, and Dallas were level.
Jáder Obrian showed great tenacity 20 yards from goal, danced his way past a couple of Whitecaps and played a great ball forward to Ferreira in the box, who took a heavy first touch but had enough time and space to recover and volley home the equaliser.
Jesús Ferreira's at it again. 🐆
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 18, 2023
That was really it for the first half action and the teams went in level.
Dallas came out on the front foot to start the second half and almost capitalised on a deflection two minutes in but they didn’t have to wait too long to find that breakthrough.
It came in the 54th minute when Tsiki Ntsabeleng played in the Ferreira after blocking a pass and then dispossessing Ranko Veselinovic. The striker took a touch inside before drilling the ball past Takaoka to put the Texans ahead for the first time on the night.
Slicin' and dicin'
Jesús Ferreira gets his brace. pic.twitter.com/ETaJYIUufJ
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) May 18, 2023
Laborda brought a great save out of Paes two minutes past the hour mark, as the visitors pushed to get back on level terms.
Whitecaps sub Simon Becher nearly made another major impact off the bench when he rose well to get onto a Laborda cross but Paes denied him to keep the home side’s lead.
But Dallas saw out the game with ease, despite Sartini’s attacking substitutions.
It was another road performance that only had brief glimpses of what this team can produce. A defensive slip may have given Vancouver the lead, but one of their own then cost them the chance to prevent heading home from Texas empty handed.
The defeat sees Dallas open up a seven point gap on Vancouver, as the Whitecaps’ slow slide down the standings. They now sit in the ninth and final playoff position in the West at the conclusion of this match. With a tough home game coming up against a tough Seattle side on Saturday, they could very well finish the weekend below the playoff line with their recent eight match unbeaten run and shutout streak fading memories.
FINAL SCORE: FC Dallas 2 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps
23’ – VAN – Pedro Vite
37’ – DAL – Jesús Ferreira (Jáder Obrian)
54’ – DAL – Jesús Ferreira (Tsiki Ntsabeleng)
Possession: DAL 51.5% – VAN 48.5%
Shots: DAL 15 – VAN 7
Shots on Goal: DAL 3 – VAN 4
Saves: DAL 3 – VAN 1
Fouls: DAL 9 – VAN 12
Offsides: DAL 2 – VAN 3
Corners: DAL 5 – VAN 2
DALLAS: Maarten Paes; Ema Twumasi, Nkosi Tafari, José Martínez, Marco Farfan; Tsiki Ntsabeleng (Sebastien Ibeagha 70) , Facundo Quignon, Edwin Cerrillo; Jáder Obrian, Jesús Ferreira (Sam Junqua 82’), Alan Velasco (Bernard Kamungo 66’) [Substitutes not used: Jimmy Maurer, Jesús Jiménez, José Mulato, Amet Korça, Herbert Endeley, Nolan Norris]
VANCOUVER: Yohei Takaoka; Mathías Laborda, Javain Brown, Ranko Veselinović (Déiber Caicedo 79’), Ryan Raposo (Luís Martins 67’); Julian Gressel, Andrés Cubas, Alessandro Schöpf; Pedro Vite, Sergio Córdova (Simon Becher 67’); Brian White [Substitutes not used: Thomas Hasal, Karifa Yao, Sebastian Berhalter, Ali Ahmed, J.C. Ngando, Russell Teibert]
On the match:
“It was, I think, a tale of two halves. They played better the first half, we played better the second half. I think it was probably an honest tie game. Unfortunately we conceded a bad mistake on the second goal, we have to be honest they made a bad mistake for our first goal. But in the first half we weren’t able to organize the pressure very well, we did it much better in the second half and in fact in the second half we won the ball much higher. We had a lot of chances to be honest, with Simon [Becher], with Brian [White], Mathías [Laborda], the penalty because it was a penalty for us. Unfortunately, both the referee and the VAR didn’t see it. Yeah, it’s very frustrating because last week we lost and we deserved to lose. This week we didn’t deserve to lose.”
What he told his players for the upcoming match against Seattle:
“We need to be better. We need to play better in the sense of we need to start the game better, we didn’t start the game well but we need to play like we played the second half, being the best team on the field, trying to play in between lines, trying to play wide for the crosses for our striker creating chances. That’s the only medicine we have in order to win Seattle and win on Wednesday in the semifinal.”
On the match:
“I think the first half we were staying a little too low. Of course we got in front 1-0, but I think, first half Dallas was the better team than us. But anyways, when you are 1-0 up, away from home, you have to defend your goal like lions and I think that was a little bit missing also in the first goal, okay second goal was a mistake, but for me, a little bit two easy goals that we conceded.”
On looking forward to the match against Seattle:
“We need to go on like we played in the second half. To go directly in the next game like the style we played in the second half and not starting playing like that from the minute 45 on. So I think we played well in the second half and that’s the style we want to do it and not only one half so we need to do it for 90 minutes. That’s the main point what we need to change of course, but of course away games are also a lot different than home games. I think home games you dominate the game more than away so that also would be really good to get points on the road. It’s really unlucky that we lost the last two away games. I think we need to start also to get points away. That’s our main target.”
On the win against Vancouver:
“Vancouver is a well instructed team with very good players, and they play a style that can make any team play slow and sloppy, which caused us the mistake even though we were playing better. But I am very proud of the team and the way the team responded.
On coming back:
“It is important for us to know that we can also score second. It is important to have a good mentality when being down because at the end of the day it is about the way we respond and execute.”
On today’s game and the season:
“I’m just setting personal goals for myself and trying to better myself for the team. I’m finding that rhythm I had again, getting into pockets and spaces in the box. My teammates are trusting me to be the guy to score goals, and I’m happy we did a good job today. We knew how important it would be to get these three points at home, and now we have to turn around, recover and focus on Houston.”
On expectations for the season:
“The team is just focused on what we can do and control. We’re a team where everyone has the same goal. At the end of the day we’re a team trying to win games, make the playoffs, and win the MLS Cup. We all know that when someone is down we have to support them and continue on and push the next person. The level tonight was there, the guys were hungry and we showed that we’re here to get points. The guys suffered at the end of the game, but the important thing was that we managed to get the three points at home.”
On the win:
“The win means a lot to us. We’ve been talking about it since the Austin game, staying consistent because we haven’t beaten them in a long time to bring the happy days out.”
On playing further forward:
“I’ve played further forward most of my career, playing deeper in the field was newer to me. I’m feeling comfortable and confident that I can perform at a high level.”