Sports Soccer

Decisive victory for Whitecaps

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

Camilo (37), Matt Watson (16) and Kenny Miller celebrate the Whitecaps' opening goal while Chivas USA's Ante Jazic turns away during their match Wednesday at BC Place. (Getty)

Camilo (37), Matt Watson (16) and Kenny Miller celebrate the Whitecaps' opening goal while Chivas USA's Ante Jazic turns away during their match Wednesday at BC Place. (Getty)

To say the Vancouver Whitecaps had to win Wednesday's game at BC Place may be understating it. But no matter how you put it, the second-year MLS squad were desperately in need of the three points against Chivas USA.

That, the Whitecaps got — and in commanding fashion nonetheless.

For the first time in eight matches, everything went Vancouver's way. They found their finish, scoring twice in the first half and twice more in the second. They were responsible defensively, recording their second straight clean sheet. But most importantly, the Whitecaps finally picked up their first win since Aug. 11 — a decisive 4-0 victory over the worst team in the Western Conference.

The trio of points were vital in the 'Caps quest for the playoffs. With FC Dallas creeping up on them in the standings for the final post-season spot in the West, Vancouver (11-12-9) now moves five points up as Dallas gets their shot at Chivas on Sunday.

"I was very pleased with the performance," coach Martin Rennie said. "Now is the time to be improving and the time to be playing well. We created a lot more chances, we got into good positions a lot more often and our deliveries were a lot more dangerous from the right areas. And we need to continue that.

"We're on a good run now, and now's the time to be improving and playing well."

From the get-go in front of a crowd of 17,777, the Whitecaps were a threat.

At the 11th minute mark, Camilo made a smart feed to Kenny Miller into the box before the Scottish striker found Gershon Koffie for the finish. The midfielder's low strike from 20 yards out beat Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his third goal of the season, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.

"Kenny set the goal up very well and Koffie finished it excellently," Rennie said. "That was good for us and we knew they would be opened when they had the ball and they would give us a chance to catch them on the break."

Soon after his assist, Miller was forced to leave the game with a hamstring injury in the 18th minute. He said afterwards the injury was not serious.

Dane Richards, his replacement, had a terrific chance to pad the lead in the 26th minute, but his shot was tipped just wide by the fingertips of Kennedy. The Jamaican forward made up for it in the 35th minute.

On a nice give-and-go with Camilo, Richards broke into the box and fired a shot inside the far post for his third marker of the campaign.

Camilo, who was starting in place of the injured Darren Mattocks, got a goal himself in the 62nd minute — his fifth of the season — before setting up Barry Robson for the final score of the night.

"I'm very happy," said Camilo, who celebrated his goal with a quick Gangnam Style dance. "Before the game, the coaching staff gave confidence for me. This game, I tried not just to score but to give assists too, because we need this three points tonight."

The Whitecaps will have two-and-a-half weeks off before hosting the Portland Timbers on Sunday, Oct. 20. The players know that they

"Obviously we're clicking at the right moment here and we've got a little break," said 'Caps goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who didn't face any shots on target. "It's just a matter of everyone staying professional and knowing what they need to do on and off the field. Rest and recuperate, we've got a couple guys banged up and hopefully get the ball rolling when we get back and get everyone on all cylinders against Portland."

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