VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps scored within the first minute of each half to claim a victory over D.C. United on Wednesday night in front of 17,288 at BC Place.
The win brings the ‘Caps to 28 points and pushes them off the bottom of the MLS table, as they leapfrog the New England Revolution.
For United, the loss puts a massive dent in their push for a wildcard playoff spot. The club continues to sit five points back of ninth-placed New York Red Bulls and 10th-placed Houston Dynamo with only three matches remaining.
The anthems had barely wrapped up before Camilo Sanvezzo got on the end of a curling Jordan Harvey cross for the 1-0 Vancouver lead. The Brazilian side-footed home from about seven yards for his 12th of the season and in the process bolstered his position as Whitecaps leading scorer.
A minute into the second period of play it was Long Tan who ended up on the scoresheet, claiming his first MLS goal, and the first by a Chinese-born player in league history. Left fullback Alain Rochat’s inviting cross was just asking for someone to get on the end of it and Tan obliged. The big striker’s powerful header deflected off center back Daniel Woolard and the underside of the bar to give the Whitecaps a 2-0 lead.
D.C. attempted to launch a comeback in the 57th minute, finally showing signs of life as Brandon McDonald headed home a free kick from substitute Santino Quaranta to bring the score to 2-1. The defender rose well in a crowd of Whitecaps to head into the bottom left corner past a helpless Joe Cannon.
Apart from Camilo’s early goal, the first half was an even affair, with possession split between the sides. Neither side were particularly dangerous, with most shots restricted to speculative long-range efforts.
Carlyle Mitchell had a bit of a slip in the 28th minute, leading to a hairy moment at the top of the box. The Trinidadian’s mid-step led to a giveaway just in front of his side’s 18 yard box. The ball eventually fell to Blake Brettschneider but the Georgia native’s shot wasn’t on target. Five minutes later Perry Kitchen attempted his own long-range strike, but fired over Joe Cannon’s goal.
In the 36th minute Camilo tried to make it two with a long range strike that Bill Hamid struggled with, punching it out for a defender to clear.
Perhaps United’s best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute when Andy Najar crossed to Brettschneider, but the big target man could only head over.
In the second half Nizar Khalfan almost made it two sensational goals in as many matches as he made a run down the right side in the 64th minute before blasting a powerful shot into the side netting.
In the 76th minute United’s Mark Burch nearly got a lucky bounce, as Jeb Brovsky deflected a hard shot that ended up wrong-footing Joe Cannon, but skimmed past the near post. Shouts for handball – Brovsky deflected the shot with his elbow – were ignored on the play, as it was deemed unintentional.
Three minutes later D.C. continued their push, as Andy Najar hit a dangerous cross into the Whitecaps box. Quaranta got on the end of it with a header, but just missed the target.
Shea Salinas made an excellent sliding play on Qauranta in stoppage time in his own box to prevent what looked to be a dangerous cross, meaning the match ended 2-1.
D.C. United will continue their hunt for a playoff spot against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, while the Whitecaps travel to face FC Dallas on Saturday as they attempt to claim their first away win of the season.
VAN -- Camilo 12 (Jordan Harvey 5, Nizar Khalfan 4) 1
VAN -- Long Tan 1 (Alain Rochat 1, Jordan Harvey 6) 46
DC -- Brandon McDonald 2 (Santino Quaranta 4) 58
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Marc Burch, Andy Najar, Perry Kitchen, Stephen King (Charlie Davies 76), Austin Da Luz (Santino Quaranta 54), Josh Wolff, Blake Brettschneider.
Substitutes Not Used: Kurt Morsink, Joseph Ngwenya, Clyde Simms, Ethan White, Joe Willis.
Vancouver Whitecaps -- Joe Cannon, Jeb Brovsky, Jay DeMerit, Carlyle Mitchell (Michael Boxall 61), Alain Rochat, Nizar Khalfan, Gershon Koffie, John Thorrington, Jordan Harvey, Camilo (Shea Salinas 73), Long Tan (Eric Hassli 59).
Substitutes Not Used: Mustapha Jarju, Omar Salgado, Peter Vagenas, Jay Nolly.
DC -- Perry Kitchen (caution; Tactical Foul) 15
VAN -- Alain Rochat (caution; Tactical Foul) 24
DC -- Marc Burch (caution; Reckless Foul) 38
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: -Bill Dittmar; Paul Scott
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Game: 1:53