Hector Herrera's goal, assist lead Dynamo past Whitecaps

Hector Herrera and Griffin Dorsey scored first-half goals and Ivan Franco and Ibrahim Aliyu added on in the second half as the Houston Dynamo defeated the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps 4-1 on Wednesday in a key late-season Western Conference match.

The win allowed the Dynamo (12-10-7, 43 points) to leapfrog Vancouver (11-9-8, 41 points) in the West standings, with both teams currently in playoff position. Houston is unbeaten in its past seven league matches (4-0-3) dating back to July 15.

The Whitecaps, playing the fifth match of a club-record, seven-match road trip, fell for the first time after earning three wins and drawing once on their marathon trip.

Herrera got Houston on the board in the 13th minute, converting a free kick from just outside the box after Nelson Quinones drew a foul from Javain Brown. Herrera's kick bounced off Brian White in the Vancouver wall and wrong-footed Whitecaps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka before landing in the bottom right corner.

Vancouver had two excellent scoring chances when Ryan Gauld and Ali Ahmed forced saves from Houston keeper Steve Clark in the 16th and 31st minute, respectively. Jose Artur de Lima Junior put a shot on goal for Houston in the 38th minute that was stopped by Takaoka.

That shot on target was countered by one from the Whitecaps' Pedro Vite a minute later that Clark saved at the top right corner and another by Tristan Blackmon in the 44th minute that was gathered by the Houston keeper.

Dorsey added to the Dynamo lead just before the break when he literally walked into the box and unleashed a shot into the top left corner that Takaoka barely moved on. Corey Baird assisted on the tally that granted Houston a 2-0 advantage.

Franco added to the lead in the 73rd minute, calmly heading home an assist from Brad Smith and all but guaranteeing the Dynamo's win.

Aliyu was the beneficiary of a sterling pass from Herrera to put away the match in the 84th minute.

Vancouver's only tally came on an own goal by the Dynamo's Erik Sviatchenko in the 90th minute that denied Houston and Clark a clean sheet.

Clark was credited with four saves, while Takaoka made one stop.

--Field Level Media