- Our Town
Penalty kick gives Whitecaps a draw with FC Dallas
By Jim Morris, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER - It was a draw that felt like a loss for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Despite blasting a franchise record 30 shots at goal the Whitecaps were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas in an entertaining Major League Soccer match Sunday afternoon.
"It hurts like a loss," said Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted. "We deserved more out of this one.
"The chances we are creating . . . we need to put the chances away and we need to be sounder (on defence) and not give away goals."
Midfielder Pedro Morales salvaged the tie when he scored on a second-half penalty kick. The Whitecaps had an early lead but allowed Dallas to score goals 10 minutes apart.
The Whitecaps went into the match hoping to use a home win to gain some ground in the tight MLS Western Conference standings. They improved their record to 6-4-10 for 28 points.
The single point from the draw moved Vancouver into the fifth and final playoff spot in the West. A win would have lifted Vancouver into a tie for third.
"I'm disappointed we lost two points," said head coach Carl Robinson. "There was only one team that was going to win that game.
"We switched off mentally twice. We are disappointed."
Dallas improved its record to 8-7-5 for 30 points and is fourth in the West.
Dallas coach Oscar Pareja was happy his team managed to extend its unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3).
"It was a very weird game because we could have won it at the end," said Pareja.
"When you see the game you may say the first half we deserved to be leading. In the second half they deserved to tie the game. I have to give Vancouver credit."
Forward Blas Perez, off a scramble in front of the Whitecaps' net in the 29th minute, and Brazilian midfielder Michel, on a penalty kick in the 39th, scored for Dallas.
Morales, on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute, and Darren Mattocks, with his third goal in as many games, scored for Vancouver.
The Whitecaps have just one win in their last eight games and have managed three consecutive draws. Vancouver's 10 draws this season is the most in the Western Conference.
The Chicago Fire, who the Whitecaps play on the road Wednesday, lead MLS with 11 draws.
"It's a fine line between winning and losing," said Robinson. "We are that close but we are that far."
A sellout crowd of 21,000 at BC Place Stadium saw the Whitecaps press for the winning goal in the game's final stages. Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez made several key stops to preserve the tie, including stopping Morales in the 88th minute and extra time.
Morales led Vancouver with 12 shots on goal while Mattocks had nine. Mattocks missed a glorious chance in the 24th minute when an open net yawned in front of him but he fired the ball into the side of the goal.
"It will haunt me for a bit," said Mattocks, who has scored in three consecutive games.
"We are a good enough team to get three points. We have to bounce back."
Mattocks was shown a yellow card in the 59th minute following a collision with Fernandez. Replays showed Mattocks' shoe did touch Fernandez, who lay on the field, clutching his head.
Robinson dished up some sarcasm when asked about Fernandez keeping Dallas in the match.
"We rebounded very good after being kicked in the head," he said.
"He made some unbelievable saves after that. That's credit to him"
Morales tied the game after Dallas midfielder Moises Hernandez was called for a hand ball.
Dallas took the lead on Michel's penalty kick after Vancouver defender Carlyle Mitchell was called for a hand ball.
The awkward play came on a mix up when Ousted had called for a high, floating ball. A leaping Mitchell almost ran into the 'keeper, causing the ball to strike him. Ousted had words with Mitchell after.
Mattocks opened the scoring in the 11th minute. The speedy Jamaican took a pretty feed from midfielder Gershon Koffie, outran a Dallas defender, and beat Fernandez with a low, hard shot.
While Mattocks celebrated his fifth goal of the season, Fernandez tossed away the cap he had been wearing to keep the sun out of his eyes due to the roof being open at BC Place.
Perez tied the match in the 29th minute.
Midfielder Zach Loyd banged a header that hit the crossbar. The ball bounced to Perez who knocked it down with his chest then kicked it past Ousted.
NOTES: Koffie picked up his first assist of the season on Mattock's goal. … Ousted has played every minute of the Whitecaps 20 games this season. … The Whitecaps had leads in their previous three games and won none of them. … The Whitecaps have allowed 11 goals in the final 15-plus minutes of games this year, the most in MLS.