The head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps says there's a sense of deja vu about his squad's 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on Sunday.
Carl Robinson said the 'Caps (11-11-7) battled hard to notch an equalizer after conceding a goal in the first half, then gave away the draw in the match's dying minutes.
Watch highlights of Vancouver's loss:
Matt Hedges' goal in the 87th minute lifted FC Dallas to a 2-1 win over Vancouver, and into first place in the Western Conference. 0:54
"It's (the) same again," Robinson said after Sunday's match.
"If we're being honest, we haven't quite been good enough in the last two games."
Sunday's loss — the second in a row following last week's defeat to the Seattle Sounders — further dims Vancouver's playoff dreams, sending the team down to eighth place in the MLS Western Conference.
Dallas (15-6-8) vaulted to first place with the victory.
The Toros opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, when midfielder Santiago Mosquera leapt from a crowd in front of the 'Caps goal and headed the ball in.
The Whitecaps replied in the 66th minute, with teenage star Alphonso Davies getting a strong cross to the centre of the box, where striker Kei Kamara headed the ball in.
Kamara leads the Whitecaps in scoring with 13 goals and Davies is the team leader on helpers with 11 for the season.
The pair have been working in training on setting up plays where Davies beats his defender, then gets a cross to Kamara's head.
The striker said he preys on balls in the air and can get frustrated when he doesn't get them.
"Every time the ball is in the air, I want to make sure I'm dominant," Kamara said. "We're at a crucial time of the year where everything counts, every cross, every pass, today, every mistake that you make."
Dallas defender Matt Hedges dashed the possibility of a draw in the 87th minute on Sunday, heading the ball in the top left corner of Vancouver's net.
"It was a play that we work on sometimes when the other guy tries to flick it to the back post," Hedges said of the move. "It was kind of a flick play."
Late goals an issue
Giving up late goals has been a problem for Vancouver throughout the season.
Losing a match in the dying minutes is especially disappointing when it happens at home, Kamara said.
"Today, we just gave it away. And that hurts really bad," he said.
There have been 11 times this year where the squad has given up a goal in the last 10 minutes of a league game.
There have also been six times where the 'Caps scored in the 10 minutes.
The difference on Sunday was that the Whitecaps didn't focus on details.
"It cost us the game. It's hurtful. We're very disappointed," said Kendall Waston. "We lost three points that could have helped us to be closer to a playoff spot."
But the season isn't over yet and playing beyond the end of October is still a realistic possibility, Waston added.
"In football, you never know what's going to happen," he said. "And if we still have the chances, we're going to continue to try to get there."
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CBC | Soccer News