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Camilo scores to lead Whitecaps over Salt Lake 2-1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Camilo scored a goal and added an assist to help the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
The Whitecaps improved to 10-7-7, while avenging a loss to Real Salt Lake in Utah two weeks ago. Salt Lake (13-9-3) lost its second straight game and fourth straight on the road.
Vancouver trails second-place Salt Lake by five points in the Western Conference.
Camilo scored Vancouver's first goal in the 58th minute to end a 12-game scoring drought. It was his fourth goal overall and first since May 19 against Seattle.
"It's hard, because I lost my confidence," Camilo said. "But now I'm back, and I hope there'll be a lot more (goals)."
The Brazilian winger led Vancouver with 12 goals in 2011, but has struggled this season while battling a thigh injury.
Dane Richards scored Vancouver's other goal, which proved to be the winner, as he fired in Camilo's one-touch pass in the 64th minute. Nat Borchers scored for Salt Lake in stoppage time.
Camilo had played well in recent games, but struggled to score. Vancouver coach Martin Rennie knew it was just a matter of time before he finally put the ball in the back of the net.
"It's just been coming in the last few games," Rennie said. "You could see it. His confidence is coming back."
While Camilo and Richards provided the offense, goalkeeper Brad Knighton and newly acquired central defender Andy O'Brien furnished strong defense for the victors.
Knighton was credited with five saves as he picked up the win in his first start as a Whitecap. The 27-year-old from Hickory, N.C., spent all of last season with the second-tier Carolina RailHawks and had not started an MLS game since October 2010. But he got the nod Saturday as starter Joe Cannon sat out a one-game suspension.
"He was a little bit unlucky not to get the clean sheet at the end," Rennie said.
O'Brien, a 33-year-old former Leeds United star who signed as a free agent last month, was pressed into duty earlier than expected after Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit left the game in the first half with a head injury.
"It's really good for us to have (O'Brien) here at this time. ... I thought he had a fantastic game," Rennie said.
"The most important thing is (we got) the result when my opportunity came," said O'Brien. "It's unfortunate that (DeMerit) got injured."
DeMerit collided with Knighton and Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio as the RSL striker headed a Javier Morales cross off the goalpost. Both Knighton and DeMerit lay on the field for a few minutes while being tended to by trainers.
DeMerit went off briefly and returned, drawing a large cheer from the crowd. But he appeared groggy and left the game for good in the 31st minute.
"He did get a head knock and it looked to me like he was concussed, but that's not official," Rennie said.
Camilo put the Whitecaps on the scoreboard when Real Salt Lake defender Will Johnson's clearing attempt bounced off Darren Mattocks in the 18-yard box and the ball came to him. Camilo promptly rolled a shot into the corner of the net.
Richards scored six minutes later. Mattocks started the play from the left corner of the 18 as he sent the ball to Camilo at the top of the box. Camilo then sent a lateral pass to Richards and he fired the ball just inside the right post.
Knighton preserved Vancouver's two-goal advantage in the 66th minute as he blocked a Saborio shot and then grabbed the loose ball with O'Brien standing guard. It looked like he had earned a shutout in the 86th minute after he dove to stop Paulo Junior's curling shot.
But Borchers headed in Junior's cross from the left flank in the second minute of stoppage time after three were added.
Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said his club showed much more grit than it had in several previous road games. But he was not impressed with his players following Camilo's goal.
"They got a lucky bounce to open up the scoring, and we didn't respond quite as well as I'd have liked to have," he said.
NOTES: Whitecaps midfielder Gershon Koffie will be suspended for Wednesday's game against Dallas after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season. He took down Fabian Espinola early in the second half. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for late Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso, who died at the age of 22 on Aug. 5 after collapsing in a bar in the Ohio capital. Urso's funeral was held Saturday. As a result, a game between Columbus and Toronto slated for Saturday was postponed. ... Just before the game started, the Whitecaps saluted the Canadian women's Olympic team for its bronze-medal win over France. ... Vancouver's No. 3 goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre dressed as the backup.
Updated August 11, 2012