The big question for the Vancouver Whitecaps going into their Saturday afternoon away match with the Montreal Impact was simple.
After a stretch with just seven goals scored in their past nine games, where were the goals going to come from?
Kenny Miller and Camilo Sanvezzo answered that query emphatically in a 3-0 win over the Impact, with Miller converting from the penalty spot in the first half and Camilo scoring twice within the final three minutes to seal the victory and bag his 15th and 16th goals of the season.
Those goals mean the duo has regained its mantle as the top scoring tandem in Major League Soccer with 24 total goals, even if they didn’t play a single minute together after Camilo replaced Miller due to an apparent groin problem an hour into the match.
“Ultimately Kenny and Camilo have scored a lot of goals for us this season,” head coach Martin Rennie told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1410 following the match. “Playing the way they were there, there's every chance they can go and add to that and really put a high number up there.
“These players have done well, and we do rely on them,” he added, “and today they came through and made a big difference.”
Perhaps just as important as the offensive outburst, however, was a flip-flop decision by referee Jorge Gonzalez in the 38th minute. The official pointed to the spot after a scorching Patrice Bernier shot appeared to strike Vancouver defender Jun Marques Davidson in the right shoulder on the goal line.
But moments later, Gonzalez consulted with the fourth official and offered a rare reversal on the penalty decision.
“Marques defended with his chest,” Rennie asserted to TEAM 1410. “The referee made the wrong decision to give a penalty kick, and the referees are being encouraged by the supervisors to make sure if there's a big decision and they think they may have got it wrong to take their time and make sure they get it right.
“Obviously he used the technology to speak to the other officials, but from what I saw it wasn't a hand ball, so he gave a corner kick.”
Given the way things have gone for Rennie's side over a tough spell – Saturday’s win was just his side's second in its past 10 matches – the Scotsman is relieved that what he viewed to be the correct call was made.
“We've had games where maybe we haven't had little breaks like that,” Rennie said. “This is certainly a good time to start getting them, and maybe that was one there.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.