Despite creating numerous scoring chances, defensive lapses resulted in a 2-2 draw at BC Place.VANCOUVER — If one was to read the postgame statistics, the Vancouver Whitecaps put in a performance more than worthy of claiming victory Sunday.
Instead, they let another lead slip, as poor defending allowed visiting FC Dallas to claim a halftime advantage. Vancouver then ran into an in-form Raul Fernandez in the Dallas goal in the second half after the 'Caps had equalized from the penalty spot through Pedro Morales.
“I’m disappointed we lost two points," said Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson. "There was only one team who was going to win that game. We played well for the first half-an-hour of the game, then we switched off mentally twice. The concentration levels weren't good enough in the last 15 minutes of the first half when we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole. But even at halftime, I still had full confidence in the guys.
"I said to them at halftime that we just have to remain positive and focused and we’ll get back in it. In the second half, we had numerous chances to win the game, and not just tie the game. We’re disappointed."
Sunday's game at BC Place was a crucial encounter for the 'Caps, who had the opportunity to leapfrog their Texas-based opponent in the Western Conference standings with a win. Instead, the stalemate was Vancouver's third straight, with the 'Caps now having won only one of their last eight MLS matches (1-2-5).
“It hurts like a loss. I think we deserved more out of this one," Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted said. "The chances we were creating, the offensive play we have, was tremendous. I can only tip my hat to the guys up front for doing a lot of good work. But we need to put those chances away and we need to be sounder and not give away goals that we've been giving away this game."
Scoring has become a particular issue of late for the Whitecaps, and if Sunday's match statistics are anything to go by, the issue is one of particular concern. A club-record 30 shots were attempted by the 'Caps, which should have resulted in more than two goals as a return.
While Fernandez played his part with some fine shot-stopping, the Whitecaps must hold their hands up for squandering numerous scoring opportunities.
"I just think we need to be a bit more composed," said 'Caps opening goal scorer Darren Mattocks. "That’s soccer you know, I’m sure they’re going to be a couple games this season where we are going to score four or five goals and I can just feel it. But we have just got to move forward."
The draw pulled Whitecaps FC back into the playoff places for the time being, but with a less than impressive home record of 4-2-4 this season, BC Place is no longer looking the fortress it once was.
When asked if Whitecaps fans should expect more from their side at home, Robinson replied: "I expect us to win, so I think that's a constructive comment. I expect us to play well and win, but so does every manager probably at every football club throughout the world. It's getting a balance of doing that.
"Do I want to play dire football and win 1-0? Maybe at the moment, if I did that, then people might be happy, but I want to play a certain way and I want to win. I'm disappointed today and I'll take responsibility in not winning today."