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Venuto’s late score gives Vancouver Whitecaps a draw vs. FC Dallas

Substitute Lucas Venuto found the back of the net in the 94th minute to give the Whitecaps a 2-2 draw on the road with FC Dallas.

FRISCO, Texas — The Vancouver Whitecaps stole a road point against FC Dallas on Wednesday as the two clubs played to a 2-2 draw.

Substitute Lucas Venuto unleashed a screamer from just outside the box in the fourth minute of stoppage time, sending the Whitecaps into a frenzy and giving the team its third straight draw.

“Feels like a loss,” Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “We did fantastic for 75-80 of the 90 minutes but we tied. That’s soccer. You can dominate a game and create more and attack… could we have put away a third or fourth? Sure, but we didn’t. It’s 2-0 and we have to win this game. It’s unacceptable. We know that. We got less pressure on the ball, we didn’t attack, we didn’t score the third. I have to reflect on myself and should I have changed formation or tactical adjustments with the subs, the timing of them. It’s a hard lesson. A growing pain right now.”

Yordy Reyna began the comeback for the ‘Caps in the 81st minute. Venuto — who entered the match in the 66th minute — found Reyna, who beat defender Reto Zeigler and took a shot, beating goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez to cut the Dallas lead to 2-1.

“The key to the comeback was that we were able to deal with Dallas transition play,” Whitecaps coach Marc dos Santos said. “That was very dangerous with Barrios, Mosquera, and Badji. That created a lot of problems in transition. When you don’t concede the third goal and the guys that come off the bench to help the team like the three subs did today that helped and participated, then you have a chance to turn the game around. In the first half, it was an equal game where FC Dallas had a little bit more possession than us. Defensively, we were under control. We had two opportunities with Freddy and Yordy that made the play. But then again that goal that we conceded first changed the type of game. We had to go after the result.”

It ended a very strong performance from Dallas, who looked like the team on the front foot for much of the match. Instead of allowing the home team to win, Vancouver pushed up numbers and began to pressure Dallas, allowing for the comeback to happen.

“It’s always tough because it’s only human to try and protect the lead,” midfielder Jacori Hayes said. “You become a little bit less adventurous and doing the things that got you to that point. If it’s 0-0, we’re still committing numbers and doing things to get the ball forward. When you try and close out a game, you become a little bit more conservative and unfortunately, it cost us two goals and a couple of points.”

Jun 26, 2019; Frisco, TX, USA; Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan (53) kicks the ball away from FC Dallas defender Bressan (4) during the first half at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The draw makes the fifth time that Dallas has dropped points from a winning position, the last time being the 2-2 draw at San Jose on June 8. For a young team, Dallas is continuing to learn how to close out matches and hoping to carry that on into the season.

“A lot to learn from this game,” midfielder Paxton Pomykal said. “The good and the bad. We’ll take that, watch video, and we’ll learn from it.”

“We have to regain the points,” Gonzalez said. “Whether it’s Portland away or Galaxy away. We have to regain the two points we lost tonight. We have to find a way to regain them back. Nobody expected us to beat Atlanta in Atlanta. We have to go above and beyond to regain points that we lose here at home.”

Vancouver began the game very composed and disciplined in the first half, withstanding FC Dallas’ 17 shots and frustrating the home team with a five back-line.

Dallas broke through in the 56th minute after an interesting sequence of events. Midfielder Brandon Servania found a streaking Michael Barrios on the wing. Barrios’ looked like he was marginally onside and found Jesus Ferreira in the middle. Ferreira, after a goal poached from him the last match, made no mistake and slotted it into the open net to give FCD a 1-0 lead.

FC Dallas doubled that lead three minutes later in the 59th minute. Servania found fullback Ryan Hollingshead on the wing. Hollingshead made a run and took a shot, only for it to be deflected in and beating keeper Zac MacMath.

The match featured 15 fouls and eight yellow cards.

Vancouver and Dallas are both on the road for their next matches, with the Whitecaps visiting the Seattle Sounders on Saturday and FC Dallas going to the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

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