MONTREAL – Kenny Miller converted an early penalty kick and Camilo Sanvezzo scored twice in the dying minutes to give the Vancouver Whitecaps three much-needed points on Saturday in a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact.
Vancouver’s first win in six games – also their first away from home in seven attempts – keeps them in the thick of things in the Western Conference. They now sit in sixth place with 41 points, three points behind the fifth-placed LA Galaxy.
The Impact - who could never quite crack Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted and had a potential penalty kick of their own waved off in the first half - remain on 45 points in the East after their second consecutive home loss.
Vancouver took advantage of Montreal’s slow start and got a nose in front in the seventh minute. As Nigel Reo-Coker’s cross from the right reached Matt Watson, Impact right back Hassoun Camara slipped in the penalty box. The Frenchman tried to recover his balance but extended an arm, thus handling Watson’s attempt.
From the spot, Miller converted low to goalkeeper Troy Perkins’ right, snapping a five-game streak without scoring.
Montreal thought they’d have a similar opportunity in the 38th minute but were stunned to find out it wouldn’t be the case. A Patrice Bernier shot from range appeared to strike Jun Marques Davidson’s shoulder on the goal line, but referee Jorge Gonzalez pointed to the spot. The Montreal crowd‘s enthusiasm was deflated seconds later, however, as Gonzalez consulted his assistants and called for a corner instead, much to the Montreal bench’s displeasure.
Both coaches made second-half adjustments – Marco Schällibaum sending strikers Andrew Wenger and Daniele Paponi on, Martin Rennie using substitute Russell Teibert’s pace on the counter – but Ousted controlled the Impact’s last-ditch efforts and the Whitecaps added a second and a third through Camilo.
The Vancouver forward, who came on as a sub, first countered on the left during regulation, squeezing a shot at the far post and just past Perkins He completed his brace minutes later, finding a pocket of space on the edge of the area and curling a beauty in the top right corner for his 16th goal of the season, third highest in the league.
Both teams are back in league action next Saturday. Vancouver will host Real Salt Lake, while Montreal travel to Chicago to face the Fire.
The Impact will play their last CONCACAF Champions League group stage game beforehand, however, as they welcome Costa Rican CD Heredia at Stade Saputo on Tuesday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Nigel Reo-Coker||Set up the all-important first goal by absolutely scorching Alessandro Nesta, and was pesky all afternoon getting forward.|
|2||Carlyle Mitchell||Solid game throughout, and a big reason the 'Caps kept the Impact off the board. Barely.|
|3||Camilo Sanvezzo||Not bad for a 30-minute shift, right? Goal of the Week stuff on the second one, no doubt.|