It took only 10 seconds for Vancouver Whitecaps striker Brian White to set a club record.
White raced on to a rebound from a shot by Ryan Gauld to calmly slot the ball past Houston Dynamo’s stranded goalkeeper in the second half.
White’s sixth goal of the regular season was the winner for the Whitecaps who beat the Houston Dynamo 6-2 on Wednesday night.
The goal was the fastest goal from the start of a half in Vancouver’s MLS history and capped a match that head coach Vanni Sartini called “literally painful.”
The two clubs combined for four goals in the first 18 minutes, which was just the fifth time that’s ever happened in the league.
It was also the first time the Whitecaps (5-5-5) had scored six goals in Major League Soccer.
“I think the first half, we were completely terrible,” said Sartini after the match. “Don’t get misguided by the result.”
Sartini said his team “went on vacation” during the first half and redeemed themselves with a strong second half.
“The difference was that in the first half, we never wanted the ball back,” he said. “In the second half, we wanted the ball back every time. And that’s a reason why we played better. It all starts from the organization.”
Attacking midfielder Pedro Vite scoring 15 seconds into the game for Vancouver was briefly the club’s fastest goal.
“It’s good that we were the ones starting the halves off well this time,” said White.
A mistake seven minutes later by Whitecaps defender Javain Brown allowed Houston to pull even. He misjudged the ball on a diving headed clearance, which allowed Houston’s Corey Baird to slot a shot beyond a helpless Yohei Takaoka.
Houston (5-3-6) then capitalized on a ball over the top with Amine Bassi controlling the ball mid-air and tucking it past Takaoka.
The equalizer fell to midfielder Julian Gressel as he leathered his shot in to the net’s roof. He scored again after Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark tipped a deflected shot into his path in the 59th minute.
Down two goals, the night turned into a nightmare for Houston. Substitute Nelson Quinones was sent off after he was on the field for just six minutes.
Whitecaps substitute Sebastian Berhalter scored his first MLS career goal in the 88th minute with a half-volleyed shot from 18 yards out past a stranded Clark.
The young American midfielder was immediately mobbed by teammates behind the goal, with several jumping on his back and grabbing his neck at points.
“Oh man, I was getting beat up in that pile,” Berhalter said. “First I was super-happy, then five seconds passed and I realized I was getting killed in there.”
White was quick to pay tribute to his teammate opening his goal-scoring account.
“Everyone knows how hard (Berhalter) works. He’s one of the hardest working guys you’ll ever come across,” said White. “I know scoring a goal was one of his goals this season and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Berhalter then turned provider, assisting captain Gauld for the hosts’ sixth goal with a tap-in deep in to stoppage time.
Vancouver next plays Sporting KC on Saturday in a second home game of four straight.
Nick Wells, The Canadian Press