Report and Reaction: Venuto’s late lash seals dramatic comeback draw for  Vancouver Whitecaps in Dallas

Report and Reaction: Venuto’s late lash seals dramatic comeback draw for Vancouver Whitecaps in Dallas

Once again Vancouver Whitecaps spotted their opponents two goals before coming back to draw the game even against FC Dallas on the road on Wednesday night.

Jesus Ferreira and Ryan Hollingshead opened the scoring for FC Dallas while Yordy Reyna and Lucas Venuto, late in injury time, responded for the ‘Caps.

Vancouver would have broke through as early as the third minute if Jesse Gonzalez didn’t squeeze legs around the ball as Fredy Montero took his shot from in close.

About ten minutes later Dominique Badji was stopped by Zac MacMath on his dipping low shot from inside the box.

Just after the twenty minute mark, FC Dallas almost converted on a corner if it were not for Jon Erice parked on the goalline to deny the goal.

In first half injury time Badji had another opportunity, from distance, but MacMath was once again able to get down to get a hand on the dipping ball.

The first 15 minutes of the second wouldn’t be very kind to the ‘Caps with the Jesus Ferreira getting an easy tap on a square pass from Michael Barrios to open the scoring for the home side in the 55th minute.

Then four minutes later Ryan Hollingshead took a pass from 30 yards out and walked into the box to have his shot deflected off a debuting Brendan McDonough and past MacMath who was going the other way.

Vancouver were able to make a game of it with nine minutes to go when Reyna took a pass from Venuto and guided it over the keeper.

That open the door for what felt like the unlikeliest of comebacks, but as the game entered time added on it looked as though the ‘Caps unbeaten streak would be over.

Venuto had other ides and four minutes into stoppage time he picked up the ball, got around a defender, and fired a blast from 20 yards out handcuffing Gonzalez for the single point and one of the team’s most confidence boosting and character building points of the season so far.

While Reyna and Venuto scored the goals, they wouldn’t have been in that position if it wasn’t for the keeping of Zac MacMath, who kept his team in the game with timely stops.

He had very little chance on either goal against as one was a tap in and the other was a deflection off a teammate.

With the draw, Vancouver extended their unbeaten streak to six (1W 5D) and have results in 9 of their last 10 matches (3W 6D 1L).

The result was especially impressive considering it was on a short week with so many key players still away on international duty.

The players remaining will return to Cascadia this weekend as they travel to Seattle to face the Sounders on Saturday. That’s another tough ask, but don’t write this team off when the going gets tough.

FINAL SCORE: FC Dallas 2 – 2 Vancouver Whitecaps

ATT: 11,911

DALLAS: Jesse González; Bressan, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Ryan Hollingshead; Edwin Cerrillo, Brandon Servania, Michael Barrios (Santiago Mosquera 76), Paxton Pomykal (Jacori Hayes 90 +1), Dominique Badji; Jesús Ferreira [Substitutes not used: Jimmy Maurer, Pablo Aránguiz, Richardo Pepi, Callum Montgomery, Bryan Reynolds]

VANCOUVER: Zac MacMath; Scott Sutter (Jake Nerwinski 75), Brendan McDonough (Lucas Venuto 65), Andy Rose, Érik Godoy, Ali Adnan; Felipe Martins (Brett Levis 75), Jon Erice, Inbeom Hwang; Fredy Montero, Yordy Reyna [Substitutes not used: Sean Melvin, Theo Bair, Michael Baldisimo, Victor “PC” Giro]

Possession: VAN 49.7% – DAL 50.3%
Shots: VAN 12 – DAL 26
Shots on Goal: VAN 5 – DAL 9
Saves: VAN 6 – DAL 3
Fouls: VAN 6 – DAL 9
Offsides: VAN 1 – DAL 1
Corners: VAN 4 – DAL 7
Duels won: VAN 39 – DAL 47
Tackles won: VAN 5 – DAL 22




On the resilience of the team…

The mentality like I told the guys is great. We never give up, it’s a team that when we are down, we realize all the things that need to be better. We push and keep believing. That only happens when the group believes in each other, and the staff believes in its players. We felt, even at 2-0 down, that if we would score a goal at any minute of the game, we would have another chance. It was important in transition to not allow [FC]Dallas to score the third. But again, the mentality of the group has been fantastic since the start.

On the key parts leading up to the comeback…

The key to the comeback was that we were able to deal with [FC]Dallas transition play. That was very dangerous with Barrios, Mosquera, and Badji. That created a lot of problems in transition. When you don’t concede the third goal and the guys that come off the bench to help the team, like the three subs did today that helped and participated. Then you have a chance to turn the game around. In the first half it was an equal game where FC Dallas had a little bit more possession than us. Defensively, we were under control. We had two opportunities with Freddy and Yordy that made the play. But then again that goal that we conceded first changed the type of game. We had to go after the result.

On establishing a foundation at the club…

We have a lot of draws there, but what I tell our players for mentality is, if we are not able to win the game, then we don’t lose it. The importance is that every point is going to matter when it comes to making a spot in playoffs at the end.


On making his MLS debut…

“It felt great to finally get out there. A lot of hard work put in so it feels good to finally get the debut. Obviously, going down 2-0 wasn’t great but no quit from the boys and incredible for us to get a point against a really good team. Overall, happy. It wasn’t perfect but happy that we can come out with a point.”

On working with the backline…

“Loads of experience between everyone in the backline and to be next to Scott (Sutter) and in front of Zac (MacMath) and next to (Erik) Godoy and Andy (Rose) guys that I have a pretty good personal relationship with made it very comfortable for me and easier for me for sure. I can always lean on them and ask them questions and whenever I had a question on the field, I’d go to them and get a pretty straight forward answer so it was very nice playing next to them.”

On the importance of spending time with the developmental squad…

“Very important. It was actually pretty hot and humid in Korea which was nice because it was unbelievably hot and humid tonight so that was good preparation in terms of the weather four weeks in Korea. The level of players was also very high there so it was good to get good games in and to come in ready to make an impact for the team whenever my name’s called.”

On the resilience of the team…

“Back-to-back games down 2-0 come back and get a point shows a lot of resiliency, again, no quit attitude. Just got to turn that one point into three points and we’ll be in good shape but I think a lot of the problems we have is we’re kind of beating ourselves with mistakes and if we can just fix the little things and tune some things up and then we can get these three points and keep the streak going.”

On the next game versus Seattle…

“Key is just to stay organized defensively like we were for most of the night tonight. Just stay compact and to follow our game plan. We feel confident, we feel like right now with this streak that we’re in a good moment and to hopefully keep it up going into Seattle.”


Overall thoughts on tonight’s match…

“Definitely a really good point for us on the road. Tough place, obviously going down 2-0 against a really talented and energetic team. I think we showed a lot of fight and courage to get back into in. We’re certainly building that sort of attitude here. Never give in, never beaten like every single game this season has been very close. All of these points are going to add up at the end of the season. The other day, we come out of that match feeling as though we should’ve had more and today probably the opposite we feel like we really had to fight and find a way to get a point.”

On getting comfortable at center back…

“Yeah, it takes time. You just have to go out and trust yourself, trust your teammates. Playing alongside Brendan (McDonough) for his debut was a great feeling. So happy for him, he’s worked so hard in training and deserves this moment. Added responsibility there but I think with each week that passes, each game I play I get a little bit more comfortable. Obviously, played in a variety of different types of games. Late on today, really pushing for an equalizer. In the second half, we didn’t drop quite as deep as maybe we have done in a low block. So, had to deal with a variety of different sorts of attacks, so yeah, as the weeks go by I get more comfortable”

On the next game versus Seattle…

“We have to digest this one and go back and look at the mistakes we made, look at the goals they scored. Find areas of the game we could’ve been better. I think considering we didn’t have a whole lot of possession the first half and when we did we certainly looked dangerous. Find ways to take our opportunities. Seattle’s a very difficult team to play away against. We got a good point at home against them earlier in the season and we need to find a way to continue to not get beaten but to turn some of these draws into wins. We go there with a certain mentality we really want to get points out of this road trip and we look forward to it.”

Steve Pandher
Authored by: Steve Pandher

AFTN Soccer Show co-host and Senior Writer

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