VANCOUVER, BC - a week after their first MLS victory over a Cascadia rival the Whitecaps looked to extend their five game undefeated streak at the expense of the Chicago Fire, who have never won a match against a Cascadia opponent. Today was a day when these streaks were extended and not ended as the Caps persevered and scored three times in the second half to defeat the Fire.
A scrappy first half saw several decent scoring chances for both teams, but neither team was able to take the lead. The Fire had several chances early in the match including a shot from Chris Rolfe in the third minute that was stopped by Whitecaps goalkeeper Brad Knighton. Replay showed that Rolfe used his hand to help bring the ball under control, but nonetheless Knighton still made a quality save on the play.
Caps striker Camilo Sanvezzo was fouled just outside the Fire penalty area in the sixth minute and was awarded a free kick by referee Allen Chapman. Camilo's free kick hit the wall and deflected out for a corner. Vancouver could not capitalize on the corner and the Fire were able to clear. Minutes later a Jeff Larentowicz header (off a Mike Magee corner kick) was deflected twice before being stopped by Knighton. Vancouver's Kenny Miller had a good chance to notch the Whitecaps' 100th MLS goal in the forty-first minute, but his strike only just went wide. Two minutes later Camilo's shot off a Corey Hertzog throw-in went over the Chicago goal. The half ended 0-0.
The Second Half
Miller had a glorious opportunity to score in the fifty-third minute when a Camilo cross squeaked past several Fire defenders and Miller was not able to get enough of the ball and put it in the back of the net. Miller again had a chance at goal again a few minutes later, but again he was not able to make the most of his chance. Chicago also had an opportunity to open the scoring when Rolfe headed a dangerous Magee cross wide of Knighton's goal.
Just before both teams made their first substitutions of the match the increasingly dangerous looking Magee had a pair of chances that only just went wide of the Vancouver goal. Then it was time for speedy young Vancouver forward Kekuta Manneh came on for Corey Hertzog and Joel Lindpere to replace Alex for Chicago at the hour mark.
In the sixty-seventh minute a brilliant individual effort from the Camilo rewarded the Faithful with the Caps' 100th MLS goal. After bringing Knighton's clearance under control the Wee Brazilian then weaved through the Fire defense and then put a strike beyond the reach of Chicago goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi. Camilo, who has stated that he is interested in playing for Canada, was not satisfied with just one goal and added a second in the seventy-first minute. After racing in on Manneh's through ball Camilo was initially unable to put the ball past Tornaghi. Even though three Fire defenders collapsed around Tornaghi, Camilo was still able to thread the needle and extend the Caps' lead to two goals.
Chicago continued to try and find a way into the match and in the seventy-fifth minute defender Brad Rusin threw himself in front of a Mike Magee shot and the ball deflected out of harm's way. Magee appealed for a hand ball, but replay showed the this was not the case and play continued. Manneh showed his quality in the eighty-fourth minute when he twisted and turned before skipping a shot underneath the flat-footed Tornaghi.
Darren Mattocks came on for Camilo in the eighty-eighth minute. Camilo, who was the hero of the day, left the pitch to a standing ovation. Some poor marking by Daigo Kobayashi, who came on as a late substitute for Nigel Reo-Coker, and Jordan Harvey in the fourth minute of second half injury time allowed Chicago's Patrick Nyarko to score a consolation goal for the Fire with just seconds to play in the game.
The Final Word
- Brad Knighton's assist on MLS goal #100 for the Caps was also the club's 100th MLS assist. It was also Knighton's second assist in two games.
- Since June 29th Knighton has only conceded 2 goals in 4 MLS matches. It was another solid performance from the Hickory, North Carolina native. Several key saves in the opening stages of the match helped the Caps to another victory.
- Camilo's two goals on the night bring his season tally to 12. He is now the leading scorer in MLS
- The Whitecaps now sit in 3rd place in the Western Conference with 32 points. They are one point behind second place Portland Timbers FC and five points behind conference leaders Real Salt Lake.
Man of the Match:
With a 2-goal performance (one of which was the Caps 100th in MLS) Camilo is the Man of the Match
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