Fabian Castillo and second-half substitute Jonathan Top scored five minutes apart to give FC Dallas a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS action Wednesday.
Dallas, who entered the game as the obvious underdog, improved to 7-11-8 while winning for the fourth time in the past seven games. The Whitecaps (10-8-7) suffered only their second loss at home.
Both Dallas goals came in the second half of a game which generated more yellow cards — nine — than scoring chances. Vancouver received six yellows while Dallas took three.
Missing four regulars, Vancouver appeared out of sync much of the night, and coach Martin Rennie’s liberal second-half substituting did not have the desired effect.
The Whitecaps clearly missed attackers Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards, who were away on international duty with Jamaica. Meanwhile, captain Jay DeMerit sat out with a concussion and midfielder Gershon Koffie served a one-game suspension for taking his fifth yellow card of the season Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
As a result, the Whitecaps had a new look up front as Scottish striker Kenny Miller made his first start at home and Atiba Harris started for the first time since April 28. He has battled knee problems that have sidelined him for most of the past two seasons and forced him to undergo three surgical procedures.
Neither team mounted much pressure in the first half. The most drama occurred in the 45th minute as Vancouver’s Camilo put a curling free kick off the crossbar from the corner of the 18-yard box after Dallas was called for a hand-ball infraction.
Moments later, Camilo received a yellow card for taking down Andrew Jacobson.
The Whitecaps threatened early in the second half, forcing Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to catch a long lead ball intended for Harris and, two minutes later, punch away a Barry Robson free kick from the right flank.
Castillo opened scoring in the 60th minute as he put in a shot off the post from about 10 yards out while falling down. Dallas caught the Whitecaps napping as Zach Lloyd made a long throw-in and David Ferreira’s header flicked the ball on to him. Castillo eluded Vancouver defender Martin Bonjour.
Top put Dallas ahead 2-0 in the 65th on a pass from Ferreira, who won a struggle for a long ball with O’Brien, and sent him a pass. Bonjour was the goat again as Top sidestepped him before scoring.
Bonjour will be suspended for Saturday’s game in Seattle after taking his fifth yellow card of the season in the 34th minute. Dallas midfielder Jacobson also earned himself a suspension for the same reason after knocked down Robson in the 81st minute.
Ferreira’s suspect injury led to a skirmish in the 86th minute after Vancouver’s Jun Marques Davidson pulled him up.
Notes: Before the game, the Whitecaps saluted Canada’s Olympic bronze-medal-winning women’s soccer team. The crowd gave B.C. natives Karina LeBlanc, defender Sophie Schmidt and defender Emily Zurrer a standing ovation as they led players and officials onto the field. ... Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert (Canada) and defender Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad and Tobago) were also away on international duty as their homelands faced each other in a friendly in Florida. Rarely used striker Etienne Barbara missed his second straight game due to international duty with Malta. ... Dallas midfielders Julian de Guzman (Canada) and Brek Shea (U.S.) also skipped the game to be with their respective national squads.