Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Red-hot Camilo’s penalty kick keeps Whitecaps’ winning streak alive

Red-hot Camilo’s penalty kick keeps Whitecaps’ winning streak alive

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A Camilo penalty was all that was needed Saturday night at RFK Stadium, as the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated D.C. United 1-0 in front of 13,122 fans.

The Brazilian banged home the winner on 48 minutes, but Matt Watson played a big role in generating the PK, tapping the ball away from Bill Hamid in the area before getting clattered by the goalkeeper.

The decision will surely be seen as controversial, given Hamid appeared to touch the ball away from the Englishman before following through on his challenge.

Camilo’s goal is his sixth in his last four games, and his ninth overall this season.

The win, the team’s third in a row, gives the Whitecaps an impressive five victories in their last seven matches, for a total season record of 7-5-4.

“It’s not easy in this heat to do that,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said of the sizzling conditions in the U.S. capital on the post-match radio broadcast. “But I think everybody dug in and gave the effort that was required.”

Watson was one man in particular who epitomized the team’s workmanlike performance on the night, putting in plenty of defensive work under the beating sun, in addition to his contribution on the game’s decisive play.

“I actually singled him out a little bit in the locker room,” Rennie said of Watson. “His work rate tonight was unbelievable. The amount of ground he covered was phenomenal. He had a big impact on our performance because it meant they were always under pressure.

“He really did cover so much ground and was obviously important in winning the penalty too.”

Apart from a cracking Russell Teibert effort off the post and a decent chance from fullback Jordan Harvey, it was actually United that enjoyed the better of the chances.

In the 16th minute, centre back Carlyle Mitchell put in an excellent block to prevent a good scoring opportunity on Chris Pontius.

Rennie elected to once again use midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker at right fullback as 36 year old Lee Young-Pyo was left behind in Vancouver to rest.

The Englishman seemed assured in the role in his second appearance in that position.

“It’s not a huge adjustment because I’ve always been someone that’s been a big fan of the game and someone that’s studied the game from a young age,” Reo-Coker said. “I kind of learned the right back position from the age of 17, 18.

“Knowing every position on the pitch – of getting the ball, you know where your next pass is, you know where you first pass is, you know where your second and third passes are – where your options are.”

The match was also a chance to get midfielder Gershon Koffie and defensive player Brad Rusin back on the field. Both came on as substitutes for their first action in over a month.

“We know we’re losing Mitchell for the Gold Cup [to Trinidad and Tobago],” Rennie said. “So it’s important we got Brad a little bit of time but we also wanted to make sure that he would be available for Wednesday [against Sporting Kansas City].

“It seems like he’ll be all good for that and Koffie did well when he came on as well, so it gives us more options going into the next game.”

The Whitecaps now prepare for a match on Wednesday against Sporting KC, and their busy schedule means a match against the Seattle Sounders just three days after that.

They’ll be without Teibert and Mitchell for the next few weeks as those two join Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively, for this summer’s Gold Cup.

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