VANCOUVER, B.C. – With Designated Player Eric Hassli suspended for the Vancouver Whitecaps' home game against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, head coach Teitur Thordarson was left with an open vacancy in his attack.
Consider it filled.
Missing several key players in the lineup, Brazilian striker Camilo played the hero, netting two goals in stoppage time to lift the Whitecaps to a thrilling 3-3 draw.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
“In and around the box, that’s where he is dangerous,” Thordarson said. “It was nice to see that. During the last week of training he had really been showing well.”
The South American was buzzing all match long, entertaining the crowd with his pace and dribbling skill. The diminutive attacker created no less than three clear scoring chances in the first half only to be stonewalled by Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
[inline_node:332739]“It’s sad that the fans don’t get to see him in training because he does that all the time,” winger Wes Knight said. “It’s really good for him to show his effectiveness. Nintey-plus minutes at striker is not easy on this team.”
Down 3-0 with a little more than 15 minutes left, it looked as though the match was over, but Nizar Khalfan and Davide Chiumiento came on to bring the ‘Caps back to life.
“It was a different dynamic,” defender Jonathan Leathers said. “They brought their skill sets and blew the defense away. I give a lot of credit to both of them to come in and make such a big difference."
The match, though, belonged to Camilo. An Atiba Harris goal cut the deficit to 3-1 heading into stoppage time, which set the stage for Camilo’s heroic effort. His first goal for the club came when Chiumiento broke down the right flank and fed him for a relatively easy tap-in in front of goal. His second, though, wasn’t so easy.
After Khalfan came down the left hand side and lofted in a cross to the far post, Camilo rose to nod a superb header past a helpless Nielsen, bringing the fans to a thunderous roar and saving a point for the home team.
“The fans were still up celebrating when we scored that third goal,” Knight said. “The crowd was loud when we scored our first franchise goal, but I think that third goal they were even louder.”