VANCOUVER - Camilo is more likely to drawing penalty kicks than take them, but he did not disappoint on a pair of rare chances Thursday night.
The diminutive Brazilian striker scored two goals from the penalty spot to stake the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 3-0 Major League soccer victory over Real Salt on Thursday night.
"It feels good," Camilo said. "We come back and we win again. We lost the last two games at home, but today is good."
Nizar Khalfan also scored for the Whitecaps (5-16-10) as they posted their fifth victory of the season and avoided matching a league record for fewest wins in a campaign. The Whitecaps had not won since a 4-2 victory over Chicago in early August.
"It was a complete performance and one of the few of the season," said Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit who was involved in the scramble that led to their first goal.
Salt Lake (15-11-6) went winless for the fourth straight game, but already has a playoff spot secured.
"It's tough to evaluate the overall performance when you give up two PKs and you get an early red card," said Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis. "So it'd be harsh to really get after the guys, but we still need to play better."
Camil'’s goals were his 10th and 11th of the season. He gained a share of eighth place in league scoring and took over the team scoring lead from suspended striker Eric Hassli.
Usually, Hassli takes Vancouver's penalty kicks, including the four Camilo has drawn this season.
Both penalties were awarded after hand-ball infractions in Salt Lake's 18-yard box during the 44th and 53rd minutes.
"We kept near the ball and when we had a chance, we scored," said Camilo.
Khalfan padded the lead with two minutes left in the game against a tired Salt Lake squad that played a man down for the entire second half.
The game, before a boisterous crowd of 20,113 under an open roof at newly-renovated BC Place, made up for a July 16 rainout. The win atoned for Vancouver’s lacklustre effort in its first game at the spruced-up dome, an uninspiring 1-0 loss to Portland on Sunday.
"It was an encouraging performance, I think," said Vancouver coach Tommy Soehn. "When we look back at the last one, it was easy to come out angry and disappointed. Today, we came through and did all the little things that win you ball games."
In wake of Sunday's loss, Soehn shook up his lineup. Rarely used Chinese striker Long Tan made his first start of the season in place of Hassli, who was suspended after receiving his eighth yellow card of the season, and created several dangerous opportunities.
Trinidadian central defender Carlyle Mitchell, signed as a free agent in mid-September, played his first game, allowing Alain Rochat to move back to his preferred left defender post.
Soehn also benched usual starting midfielder Davide Chiumiento in favour of Khalfan, a frequent second-half substitute.
"I thought Long Tan had a really good game – tough," said Soehn. "He worked hard and created a lot. Mitchell, coming in at the back, he gave us some bite."
Meanwhile, a Real Salt Lake team missing top scorers Fabian Espinola (suspension for fifth yellow card) and Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rican national team duty) did little offensively.
After a slow start by both clubs, the action heated up considerably 10 minutes before halftime. Vancouver’s first penalty was awarded after defender Collen Warner was called for a deliberate hand-ball near Salt Lake's goal-line in a scramble and received a red card. Camilo made no mistake, spotting the ball in the low left corner of the net as goalkeeper Nick Rimando dove to his right.
Seven minutes into the second half, Salt Lake defender Chris Schuler was called for another hand-ball – right at the corner of his club’s 18-yard box – and the Whitecaps were awarded their second penalty.
This time, Camilo chose to go to the right corner and Rimando guessed correctly, appearing to get a hand on the ball, but could not stop it and the Whitecaps took a 2-0 lead.
"I’ve had Nicky Rimando myself as a coach (with D.C. United) and Nicky’s one of the better ‘keepers in the league as far as penalty shots go," Soehn said. "It's never an easy task. But Camilo did a good job, especially on the first one. He had him fooled and, to Nicky’s credit, he almost saved the second one."
Camilo received a rousing round of applause in the 73rd minute as he subbed out and rookie Omar Salgado came on. The switch paid dividends in the 88th minute as Salgado headed Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon’s long punt on to Khalfan and his hard shot from about 20 yards out glanced off Rimando’s hand and into the net.
"We just fell asleep on the last one – all of us did," Kreis said. "It's inexcusable."
Cannon earned his third shutout of the season.
Notes: Before the game, the club honoured the 1979 edition of the Whitecaps, which captured the Soccer Bowl in the former North American Soccer League. ceremony. The Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame recently gave that club its 2011 team of distinction award.