This time, Camilo made no mistake.
The Vancouver midfielder’s goal on a penalty-kick in the 84th minute gave the Whitecaps a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer action Saturday.
“I just wanted to score — to find the net again,” said Camilo after earning his first goal of the season. “This is very good for me.”
He finally scored after having four shots stopped — and firing another one high and wide in the first half — as the Whitecaps earned a point in their first home game since March 9.
Vancouver (2-2-2) remained unbeaten at B.C. Place Stadium, while RSL improved to 2-3-2.
“For me, I’m very happy — but I want more,” said Camilo. “I want to win the game.”
Second-half substitute Olmes Garcia, in the 66th minute, scored for Salt Lake, which was outplayed most of the game.
Until Camilo’s goal, it looked like Salt Lake goalkeeper Rimando was going to pull off a major robbery for his club. The Caps recorded seven shots on target with Rimando getting credit for six difficult saves — with five in the first half alone.
“We got a point on the road, a crucial point where we haven’t had the best results on the road,” said Rimando, whose team is now 1-3-1 away from home. “To come here, it’s a tough place to play but I thought we stuck in there and we’re happy with the point. I thought the second half was much better than the first.”
Salt Lake only managed three shots — all in the second half.
“We played a very good game, but we need to score (more),” said Camilo.
But Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie was still quite pleased with his club’s effort.
“It was an exciting game,” said Rennie, who described Rimando’s goalkeeping effort as the best he has witnessed in MLS. “It was a game that, I think, we dominated for long spells, especially in the first half. We were really happy with how we were playing, but we didn’t managed to convert the opportunities we had, which is a bit disappointing.
“Over the course of the game, it was one of those days where we deserved more, but Rimando made a number of fantastic saves. Sometimes, you come up against a goalkeeper who’s having a great game, and that happened to us today.”
Vancouver received its penalty kick after RSL defender Nat Borchers went to field the ball in the box and no one challenging him, but accidentally fell and got his hand on the sphere. With the crowd of 19,612 standing in anticipation, Camilo made no mistake, rolling the ball into one side of the net while RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando went the other way.
After the goal, Camilo leaped in the air and blew kisses to the fans. Camilo got the nod because Rennie selected him for penalty-kick duty before the game.
“He’s had a lively game today,” said Rennie. “I think, on another day, he could have had three or four goals, but he got one that got us the point. Every point’s important in this league.”
Camilo excelled as Vancouver’s star striker Darren Mattocks was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game and Corey Hertzog, who again replaced him, accomplished little while rarely seeing the ball directed his way. Mattocks subbed in for Hertzog in the second half, but could not generate much.
Camilo, who was Vancouver’s top scorer in 2011 with 12 goals but saw his production fall to five tallies in 2012, made only his second start after subbing into a pair of other games and staying on the bench for all of one — the season opener.
He helped the hosts come back after Garcia capitalized against the run of play. The RSL striker put in a curving shot from outside the left corner of the Vancouver 18-yard box.
After scoring, Garcia took off his jersey to display a t-shirt bearing a woman’s picture received a yellow card. Garcia said after the game she was a friend who died and December, and he was dedicating the goal, his first MLS career marker, to her.
Rennie said the Whitecaps “did not lose any heart” after visitors went up 1-0.
“Our confidence was still there, very high, and our effort was very high,” said Rennie.
Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis credited his goalkeeper for an “excellent” performance.
“Rimando’s just been electrifying for us since the beginning of this year,” said Kreis. “Typically, he takes a little longer to get going, but he’s been amazing. He’s kept us in multiple games now and given us a chance to pick up points, so hats off to him.”
Kreis also praised his team for getting angry about its early struggles, getting better as the game went on, and providing a “a pretty mature performance.”
But the Whitecaps could not savour their long-awaited return home for long. They head to Dallas for a league match next weekend and then face lower-tier FC Edmonton in the Alberta capital April 24 in the first leg of a Canadian championship semifinal series.
“Now, we have to work very hard to get points away,” said Camilo.
Notes: Real Salt Lake lost captain Kyle Beckerman to an injury in the first half. Kreis said he initially suffered the injury Thursday. Kreis blamed himself for starting him when he should have rested. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for Deborah Sharp Furlong, the late wife of Whitecaps chairman and former Vancouver 2010 Olympics chief John Furlong. She died in a motor-vehicle collision Thursday in Ireland at the age of 48. “It’s very tragic and our heart goes out to John and all his family and friends,” said Joe Cannon. ... Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert of Niagara Falls, Ont., delivered a strong performance in his second straight start, giving him one more than he had all last season. ... The B.C. Place roof was open as the game began under an overcast sky before the sun came out in the first half.