VANCOUVER, BC – A sensational second-half brace from Camilo salvaged an important point for Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11W-11L-9D) in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Portland Timbers (12W-5L-13D) Sunday at BC Place.
The Brazilian striker scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season within the span of three minutes late in the second half to help keep Whitecaps FC in contention for the final Western Conference playoff berth.
Camilo’s second tally was a brilliant scissor-kick volley that will no doubt be considered for MLS Goal of the Year. The goal leveled the game at 2-2 after Canadian Will Johnson put Portland ahead just a minute earlier.
With the crowd on their feet, the ‘Caps had at least three chances in stoppage time but Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made a pair of game-saving stops as the Cascadia rivals played to their third straight draw this season.
With three matches remaining in the regular season, the ‘Caps are now six points out of the final playoff position, jointly held by LA Galaxy and Colorado Rapids. Qualifying for the post-season remains a possibility, as Whitecaps FC meet Colorado twice in a home and home series to end the season.
Martin Rennie made three changes to his starting lineup after last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake. With Kenny Miller (right adductor tightness) unavailable for the second straight week, second-year striker Darren Mattocks replaced Tommy Heinemann atop Vancouver’s attack. Midfielder Daigo Kobayashi also took the place of Russell Teibert, while Matt Watson replaced Gershon Koffie in midfield.
Kobayashi and Mattocks both looked very lively early on, as the ‘Caps took the game to their Pacific Northwest rivals for the better part of the first half-hour.
Mattocks had a crack from about 40 yards in the 10th minute, but his long-range effort sailed just wide. The Jamaican had another opportunity a few minutes later after Kobayashi and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker combined brilliantly in midfield.
With two Timbers hot on his trail, Kobayashi played a cheeky back-heel pass to Reo-Coker, who then slipped an inviting through ball into the Timbers box. A streaking Mattocks got on the end of it but his promising attempt was deflected away for a corner just in the nick of time.
At the other end of the pitch, striker Maximillano Urruti looked like the most dangerous Portland player in the opening stages of the match. The Argentinian nearly opened the scoring in the 17th minute after Jack Jewsbury sent a low cross into the box, but Urruti’s first-time effort just missed the top right corner of the goal.
Urruti was involved again in the 39th minute, as he made a charging run through midfield with only Jay DeMerit to beat, but the ‘Caps captain executed a well-timed sliding tackle to keep the Timbers at bay.
There wasn’t much DeMerit could have done in the 41st minute, however, when Darlington Nagbe launched a long-range strike beyond the reach of David Ousted’s sprawling arms and into the top left corner of the goal.
To their credit, the Timbers stuck with the play after a slow start and were rewarded with a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Rennie’s side didn’t disappear, however, and came out of the interval looking energized and desperate for an equalizer. They came within inches of doing so just three minutes into the second half. After a Mattocks pass eluded Jordan Harvey, Watson found himself alone at the top of the box but the Englishman’s left-footed effort was deflected just wide.
The ‘Caps continued to dictate the play following the early opportunity, which seemed to inject some life into the stadium. Just after the hour mark, Camilo tiptoed around two defenders into the box and fired a low drive from a tight angle but Ricketts made a kick save to keep the Timbers ahead.
Camilo would not be denied on this day, however. The Brazilian striker brought the crowd to its feet with one of his patent free-kick tallies from 30 yards as the ‘Caps finally mustered an equalizer in the 76th minute.
Just as the goal was being announced in stadium, the Timbers stunned the home crowd as Johnson found the back of the net from the top of the box to give Portland a 2-1 advantage.
Their lead would not last long, as Camilo responded again to cap off a frantic three minutes – this time with a spectacular scissor-kick volley from inside the box.
The Brazilian’s two goals brings his total to 18 on the MLS season, just one behind league-leader Marco Di Vaio for the Golden Boot. Young-Pyo Lee picked up the assist on the goal with the cross from the right flank.
The South Korean fullback almost gave Vancouver the advantage in stoppage time after he faked a cross from a similar area and let loose a left-footed strike from inside the box, but Ricketts tipped Lee’s effort just over the bar.
The ‘Caps had at least two more opportunities in the dying stages of the match – both through second-half substitute Kekuta Manneh, but it was not to be as one of the most entertaining MLS matches to date at BC Place ended in a 2-2 draw.
There won’t be much time to rest for Whitecaps FC, as they’re right back at it Wednesday against Seattle Sounders FC. The ‘Caps currently trail Seattle by just one point in the Cascadia Cup standings, but the Sounders still have one more meeting against Portland.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT at CenturyLink Field.
41' - POR - Darlington Nagbe (Will Johnson)
Shots: Vancouver 16 – Portland 14
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 8 – Portland 3
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Portland 6
Fouls: Vancouver 9 – Portland 14
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Portland 3
Corners: Vancouver 10 – Portland 7
44' - VAN - Camilo Sanvezzo
45' - POR - Michael Harrington
56' - VAN - Carlyle Mitchell
74' - POR - Donovan Ricketts
87' - POR - Pa-Modou Kah
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
22.David Ousted; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 24.Carlyle Mitchell, 6.Jay DeMerit, 2.Jordan Harvey; 13.Nigel Reo-Coker, 27.Jun Marques Davidson, 8.Matt Watson (31.Russell Teibert 64'); 14.Daigo Kobayashi (23.Kekuta Manneh 71'), 11.Darren Mattocks, 7.Camilo Sanvezzo
Substitutes not used: 18.Brad Knighton, 16.Johnny Leveron, 19.Erik Hurtado, 28.Gershon Koffie, 29.Tommy Heinemann
1.Donovan Ricketts; 13.Jack Jewsbury, 98.Mamadou Danso, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 5.Michael Harrington; 21.Diego Chara, 11.Kalif Alhassan (8.Diego Valeri 67'), 4.Will Johnson; 6.Darlington Nagbe (14.Ben Zemanski, 86'), 37.Maximiliano Urruti (20.Jose Adolfo Valencia 78'), 22.Rodney Wallace
Substitutes not used: 30.Milos Kocic, 9.Ryan Johnson, 23.Alvas Powell, 35.Andrew Jean-Baptiste