By DAN KARELL
For at least one more week, the Vancouver Whitecaps will remain in the Western Conference playoff conversation.
An early Kenny Miller penalty kick goal and a late brace from Camilo gave the Whitecaps a crucial 3-0 victory against the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The result was mainly against the run of play, as the Impact had six shots on target, and another chance that hammered off the post.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 7th minute when one minute earlier, Hassoun Camara was whistled for handling the ball in the area after Whitecaps forward Matt Watson fired a shot on goal. Miller, the former Scotland international, stepped up to take the penalty kick and sent it into the side netting for an early lead.
One of the stranger moments in MLS history occurred in the 38th minute. Just five minutes after Carlisle Mitchell hit the crossbar on a header, the Impact’s Patrice Bernier fired a shot on goal that looked to strike the shoulder of Whitecaps midfielder Jun Marques Davidson. The referee though pointed to the spot, giving the Impact a penalty kick.
However, before the kick was taken, the referee consulted with his officials and decided to rescind the penalty call, and instead give a corner kick, to the consternation of the Impact players and head coach Marco Schallibaum.
Two minutes into the second half, Nigel Reo-Coker became the second Whitecaps player to hit the crossbar, firing a shot from the top of the box that skimmed the bar. From here on though it was all Impact. Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted denied MLS leading goalscorer Marco Di Vaio from close range and watched a few minutes later as a Felipe Martins scissor kick cannoned off the crossbar.
Camilo, who entered in the 60th minute for Miller, set off on a 60-yard sprint after receiving a clearance pass by Lee Young-Pyo and taking on famed Italian defender Alessandro Nesta. The Brazilian tricked Nesta and passed him before scoring the team’s second of the game in the 89th minute.
Three minutes into extra time, a blast from Camilo made it 3-0, and this was a shot that Perkins had no chance at saving, unlike the first one.
With the victory, the Whitecaps move to 41 points on 29 games, three points behind the LA Galaxy, though that could change if they win or draw against the Seattle Sounders. The loss leaves the Impact three points behind Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings.
Here are the game highlights: