Vancouver Whitecaps held by Dallas in the West

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC again failed to defeat FC Dallas, as the two teams played out a 2-2 draw at BC Place.

Although they opened the scoring here through Darren Mattocks, the Caps have now beaten the Texans just once in nine meetings and remain below their visitors in the Western Conference standings.

The Burn haven’t tasted victory on the road since their trip to the Houston Dynamo in the first week of April, but avoided defeat as Blas Perez’s equaliser was followed by a pair of penalty awards, dispatched by Michel and Pedro Morales.

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Mattocks menacing

Lively from the kick-off, Mattocks traded early passes with Morales, but cap-bearing stopper Raul Fernandez stood tall to beat away the 23-year-old’s effort.

The Jamaican wasn’t to be denied though, and collected a beautiful Gershon Koffie pass less than a minute later, before running through to stab under the goalkeeper. This was the third consecutive game in which Mattocks had notched – a first for the player – and he should have added another soon afterwards.

Fernandez dived at a dangerous low cross, and left his goal unattended when he failed to make any contact with the ball. Mattocks received possession in yards of space at the back-post, but rushed his shot and found only the side-netting. It was a missed opportunity that would quickly prove costly.

Red Stripes response

In the Dallas’ first real attack, Zach Loyd met a centre from the left with a powerful header that crashed agonisingly against the cross-bar. Unfortunately for Vancouver, the rebound fell perfectly for Perez, who controlled on his chest and slammed into the net.

Circumstances then went from bad to worse for Carl Robinson’s men, as they gifted their guests the chance to score again. After Morales had lazily headed back into his own area, Carlyle Mitchell beat David Ousted to the ball, and handled – drawing rage from his custodian. The Burn’s set-piece specialist Michel ruthlessly punished the error from 12 yards.

Sebastian Fernandez had the first opening of the second period, but fired straight at his namesake, though it mattered little when referee Kevin Stott awarded another spot-kick – this time in the Canadians’ favour. Mattocks controlled ahead of Moises Hernandez, and the ball struck the academy product’s arm just inside the boundaries of the 18-yard box. This allowed Morales to roll into the corner for his fifth penalty conversion of the season.

Frantic finish

Between long-range testers for either side was another Mitchell mistake that almost caused great embarrassment. He was enduring a difficult night, and was thankful to Ousted for flying across his goal-line to claw away the Trinidadian’s clumsy slice.

However, the 26-year-old defender almost redeemed himself, but could only direct Morales’ deep free-kick onto the post with Fernandez beaten. Mattocks had been equally involved in the game’s key moments, and he prodded wide before a teammate’s offside run obstructed another break.

The Whitecaps’ other goal-scorer Morales had been trying his luck from distance throughout proceedings, and Fernandez was required to sprawl to his right to punch clear after a particularly ferocious thump. The Chilean is one of the star attractions in Major League Soccer this term, and was brilliantly repelled twice more in an action-packed conclusion.

These three saves saw Dallas through to the final whistle, and they can now welcome back suspended key man Fabian Castillo for their jaunt to Los Angeles to face Chivas USA.

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MLS Western Conference
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