VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Vancouver Whitecaps won't be in the playoffs, but they have a Golden Boot winner in Camilo Sanvezzo, who scored a hat trick in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday evening at BC Place to clinch the award given to the league's leading goalscorer.
Trailing Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee by two goals entering the contest, Camilo scored his 20th of the season in the 43rd minute, blasting home a penalty into the right side of 'keeper Clint Irwin's goal. Kekuta Manneh generated the goal by forcing Marvell Wynne into a foul just moments earlier.
The 25-year-old Camilo then doubled his tally and tied Magee with his 21st goal in the 74th minute, nutmegging Rapids defender Drew Moor before placing the ball in the bottom right corner.
The Brazilian striker wrapped up a magical night with his hat-trick goal in the 84th minute, bursting through to get on the end of a through ball from Russell Teibert, which he fired past an onrushing Irwin.
Lee Young-Pyo captained the Whitecaps in his final career match, and turned down taking the penalty that Camilo converted for the opener. The Brazilian rushed to give Lee the ball after scoring and fell to his knees in front of the South Korean legend as a tribute to the retiring star.
The left fullback received a stoppage-time standing ovation as he came off in favor of rookie Erik Hurtado for the final moments.
The Rapids (14-11-9, 51 pts.), who beat the Whitecaps 3-2 last week in Colorado to virtually seal a playoff spot at the expense of Vancouver, will settle for playing on the road in the Western Conference Knockout Round in midweek against the Seattle Sounders.
The loss to end the season could have been even worse for the Rapids had it not been for Irwin, who denied Camilo in the 10th minute by stretching out to stop the forward's left-footed effort in the area after Daigo Kobayashi found the Brazilian with a cross from the left.
The goalkeeper robbed Camilo again in the 14th minute, as the forward curled a ball toward the top right corner with a shot from the left side of the area, but at full stretch Irwin pushed the drifting shot away.
Vancouver defender Brad Rusin saved a sure Rapids goal in the 27th minute, lunging to prevent Edson Buddle from finishing a rebound generated from a Gabriel Torres shot. Rusin's sliding challenge sent the ball into the hands of 'Caps goalkeeper David Ousted, who clutched the ball right along the goal line.
Buddle was snakebit on the evening, watching debutant Whitecaps left fullback Sam Adekugbe make a goal-saving intervention on 63 minutes to clear a rebound when it looked as if Buddle was set to convert in the six-yard box.
In the 83rd minute, Matt Watson teed up Camilo for the hat trick, but Moor put in a vital block to prevent the strike from finding target. A minute later, the Brazilian bagged his hat-trick goal to help Vancouver end their season with a record of 13-12-9 (48 pts.).
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Camilo Sanvezzo||A dream night for the Brazilian, who shows off the scoring instincts that have made him a menace under goal this year.|
|2||Clint Irwin||Camilo probably thought a Golden Boot was not meant to be after a few inspired stops from Irwin early on. He may have allowed three goals on the night, but there was little Irwin could do.|
|3||Kekuta Manneh||His Brazilian teammate may have earned the plaudits, but Manneh was active all night in the attack and earned the penalty kick that resulted in Camilo's first on the night.|