Second half goals by Giles Barnes and Warren Creavalle helped the Dynamo rebound from a 1-0 halftime deficit and beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 to extend their home unbeaten to 33 games on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. It was the first career MLS goal for both Barnes and Creavalle, helping fill the void left by 3 starters on international duty.
Midfielders Brad Davis (USA), Boniek Garcia (Honduras) and defender Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica) missed Saturday’s match and it was Taylor’s absence that was felt most when Vancouver opened the scoring in the 36th minute.
Second year forward Darren Mattocks collected the ball near the top of the box. Mattocks was then able to shake of a challenge from Eric Brunner (Taylor’s replacement) and curl his shot past Tally Hall. Vancouver ran their attack through Mattocks, with the Jamaican forward playing centrally and checking to balls to create chances or create on his own, as evidenced by the goal.
Warren Creavalle got the start on the right wing in Boniek’s absence and had chances to score on multiple occasions. In the 42nd minute Andrew Driver, making his first MLS start in place of Davis, broke down the left side and found Will Bruin in the box. Bruin passed to a wide open Creavalle at the back post but he skied his shot into the crowd from 10 yards out. Creavalle also missed a glorious chance in the first half but he would make amends later in the second half.
The Dynamo were able to equalize in the 56th minute. After some nice work on the right flank by defender Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark crossed to Giles Barnes and the Englishman made no mistake. Barnes buried his header to tie the game at 1. Barnes has begun to blossom working alongside Bruin and his goal was a just reward for the hard work. With Omar Cummings nearing full fitness, it will be interesting to see what role Dom Kinnear has in mind for Barnes. Cummings and Bruin will likely start at forward but a return to the midfield may allow Barnes to be more creative and set up chances for the two front men. Barnes could play in central midfield in front of Clark, sending Adam Moffat to the bench. These kind of problems with too many good players is always nice for a coach to have.
In the 63rd minute it was Moffat who helped set up the eventual game winning goal. A corner kick from Moffat found its way to Bruin in the box. Bruin wasn’t able to do much with it but Creavalle was there to stab it home from inside the 6 yard box and give the Dynamo the 2-1 lead. In the post game press conference Creavalle said his assignment on the corner was the keeper and when the ball came free he was able to get to it and score.
Vacnouver nearly equalized in the 82nd minute. The Whitecaps won a free kick around 30 to 35 yards from goal. Camilo’s attempt hit both posts, a curler off the near post that then bounced across the goal and came out off the back post. Hall was frozen in goal and Vancouver was just inches away from leaving Houston with a point.
With the win the Dynamo were able to break their mini 2 game losing streak (Santos Laguna and Dallas) and move themselves back to 3rd in the East. As Kinnear said after the match, it’s important to get a win because there are some teams in the East who keep winning (Montreal) and you don’t want to have to try and play catch up all season. The Dynamo next host Supporters Shield Champions San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
(image courtesy of Scott Halleran/Getty Images)