Vancouver Whitecaps' Camilo Sanvezzo, left, of Brazil, and Chicago Fire's Shaun Francis vie for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer game Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Camilo scored two goals six minutes apart to lead the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Sunday.
Camilo leads MLS with 12 goals this season. Second-half substitute Kekuta Manneh also scored for the Whitecaps (8-7-6) as they extended their unbeaten streak to a club record six games.
Vancouver overtook the idle Los Angeles Galaxy for third place in the Western Conference. Chicago (6-9-3) has lost two straight.
“I try to score every time I can, but I’m very happy today to score,” Camilo said. “More important for me, our club is getting up in the table.”
Camilo scored in the 66th and 72nd minutes and Manneh tallied in the 84th. Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton was denied a second consecutive shutout as Patrick Nyarko scored a few seconds before the game ended.
“The first half was a little bit slow,” said Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie. “The tempo wasn’t too great from us, and I didn’t think we kept the ball as well as we have been, and we didn’t keep the ball as well as we have been, and we didn’t create as many chances as we have.
“But in the second half, I thought we improved a lot.”
Vancouver’s offense erupted early in the second half after struggling to get going in the first 45 minutes.
Kenny Miller had an excellent chance in the 53rd minute, but he could not get a shot away after taking a Camilo pass from right flank, instead misfiring as the crowd roared in anticipation of a goal.
In the 60th minute, Chicago’s Mike Magee, who entered the game tied for the league scoring lead, thought he had scored and started to put his arms up in celebration, but the ball curled wide of the net.
“Today, obviously, we weren’t good with our attacking chances, and they made the most of theirs,” said Magee, who entered the game tied for the league scoring lead but was held in check.
Six minutes later, Camilo fielded a long punt from Knighton between Rolfe and Fire teammate Shaun Francis. Then the Brazilian deked Francis, twisting him inside-out, and put in a low shot. Knighton earned an assist for the second straight game.
After the goal, Vancouver’s Kekuta Manneh knelt down and using his knee as a stool, polished Camilo’s boot with his jersey. Camilo responded by kissing him on the head.
In the 72nd minute, Camilo got a breakaway only to see Tornaghi dive and poke the ball away from him. But Camilo quickly retrieved the ball and, with Chicago players standing around and watching, rolled a shot past Tornaghi, who evidently was screened.
Notes: Newly-signed Danish goalkeeper David Ousted served as Knighton’s backup. It was the first game for which Ousted was eligible to suit up after the opening of an international transfer window. Joe Cannon, 38, who started the season as Vancouver’s No. 1 keeper, was a healthy scratch. ... Chicago’s Daniel Paladin and Gonzalo Segares were absent due to suspensions. Paladini served the first of a two-game suspension for a reckless challenge against a Kansas City player July 7, and Segares was suspended for yellow-card accumulation. ... Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert is back in Vancouver after contracting an illness in Seattle while he was with Canada’s Gold Cup team. But he remained sidelined. The illness forced Teibert to miss Canada’s final two round-robin games. Had the 20-year-old Niagara Falls, Ont., native been healthy, he would have missed the Vancouver-Chicago game anyway. ... Chicago No. 1 goalkeeper Sean Johnson was away with the U.S. team at the Gold Cup. ... Vancouver central defender Andy O’Brien, considered close to returning, sat out again with a hamstring injury.