Vancouver Whitecaps striker Camilo is struggling to come up with dance routines to celebrate his goals.
Camilo lamented the fact that he didn’t seek advice from teammates Sunday, as he sometimes does. But he made the right moves during play as he scored two goals six minutes apart to lead the Whitecaps to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire.
Watch: Whitecaps 3, Fire 1
“I try to score every time I can, but I’m very happy today to score,” he said.
With the goals, his 11th and 12th of the season, Camilo moved into the Major League Soccer scoring lead. 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.
“For me, (the scoring lead) is not important,” said Camilo. “More important for me, our club is getting up in the table.”
Vancouver leaped over idle the idle Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas into third place in the Western Conference. In posting their seventh win in 10 games, the Whitecaps move five points out of first place.
Chicago (6-9-3) suffered its second consecutive loss.
“Today, obviously, we weren’t good with our attacking chances, and they made the most of theirs,” said Chicago striker Mike Magee, who entered the game tied for the league scoring lead but was held in check.
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.
Vancouver’s offence erupted early in the second half after struggling to get going in the first 45 minutes.
“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.”
Rennie was wary of his team coming out flat after a week of rest, and it looked like it might be a long day for the Caps, especially after goalkeeper Brad Knighton was forced to foil Chris Rolfe from in close in the second minute, getting his arm on the shot.
But Vancouver’s offence picked up early in the second half as Kenny Miller put a Gershon Koffie setup off the post from the top of the Chicago box. The Whitecaps were then able to take the ball to the Chicago net consistently for the rest of the game.
Camilo’s first goal came as he fielded a long punt from Knighton, who had just made a nice catch off a Chicago corner-kick. Taking the ball between Rolfe and Fire teammate Shaun Francis, the little Brazilian deked Francis, twisting him inside-out, and put in a low shot past Chicago goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi.
The goal was the Whitecaps’ 100th in MLS play.
“I felt it was fitting that Camilo got the 100th goal for the club,” said Rennie. “I think that’s his 28th out of the hundred, so that’s a fantastic record from him.”
Knighton earned an assist for the second straight game. The helper was also the Whitecaps 100th in league play.
Six minutes later, Camilo got a breakaway only to see Chicago ’keeper Tornaghi dive and poke the ball away from him. But Camilo quickly retrieved it and, with Chicago players standing around and watching, rolled a shot past Tornaghi, who evidently was screened.
Manneh, an 18-year-old rookie who was Vancouver’s first choice in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, showed some physicality and artistry of his own as he fought off Chicago midfielder Nyarko for the ball in the box. With Chicago’s Janil Anibaba then poised to guard against a deke, Manneh fired the ball through the defender’s legs and just inside the post beyond a diving Tornaghi.
“I didn’t see anything,” Manneh said when asked if he was set on a through-the-legs shot. “The only thing I had in mind was: Just hit it and pray, and hopefully it will go in.”
But Nyarko spoiled Knighton’s shutout bid as he put in a header just before three minutes of added time concluded.
“I would like to have seen us finish the game out just a little bit better at the end,” said Rennie. “But that’s a big win for us at home.”
However, Knighton’s historic assist was not enough to console him after the late goal.
“(We) were fortunate enough to get the three points and the three goals,” he said. “But, defensively, we deserved a shutout tonight for the whole team, and it’s a bit of a letdown.”
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.