Texas is like home for El Tri but on this occasion, Croatia would prove a point. In the sixteenth minute of play, Nestor Araujo suffered a major injury to his left knee and put his World Cup hopes in serious doubt. Mexico looked shaky in defence using three defenders in the back and would need to adjust in the second half if they were to impose their will upon the Croatians. The entire first half lacked a clinical finish from either side despite the Croatians looking more comfortable on the counter in front of a crowd just over seventy-nine thousand.
The introduction of Miguel Layun would prove costly for Osorio. His reckless challenge on Tin Jedvaj would gift Croatia a chance to take the lead. Ivan Rakitic would convert from the spot and secure his country a win over Mexico in Arlington. To make matters even worse for Mexico, Carlos Salcedo broke his clavicle after a hard fall. As a result, his World Cup status is now in question. Despite missing key players like Modric, Perisic,and Mandzukic, Croatia were the better team by good measure.
Dynamo hosted Vancouver on a pleasant evening where expectations were high for Houston considering last weeks’ thrashing of Atlanta. However, the Dynamo would find that the Canadian team was not as defensively weak as last weeks’ opponents. In fact, the Whitecaps produced the first goal when they were awarded a penalty in the twenty-seventh minute. Philippe Senderos was shown a yellow card for his reaction to the call and he would eventually be subbed off at halftime. Brek Shea would come off the bench to replace Marcel De Jong and this substitution would prove to be critical. Alberth Ellis drew the Dynamo level before the half when his convincing strike hit the back of the net.
Ellis was a threat to Vancouver every time he got a touch. He did very well to create chances for his team and looked solid in terms of fitness. Unfortunately, Shea ended up scoring shortly after the break. Despite having most of the possession and plenty of set pieces, Dynamo were unable to convert any of their chances. It must be said that Alphonso Davies and Kendall Watson were outstanding in terms of defense for the Whitecaps. Each player was able to deny Houston in the final third of the pitch and both looked relatively comfortable defusing each attempt on goal. It seems each cross Houston delivered was easily dealt with and there was no one present inside the box who could properly convert for the Dynamo. At the end of the day, I feel Senderos should have been left on the pitch because he might have caused problems for Vancouver considering how many corner kicks Houston had.