VANCOUVER — Cristian Techera scored twice and Octavio Rivero and Pa-Modou Kah added goals of their own Saturday as the Vancouver Whitecaps thumped Real Salt Lake 4-0.
With the win, Vancouver (13-8-3) stretched its lead atop Major League Soccer's Western Conference standings to four points ahead of idle FC Dallas and tied a franchise mark for victories in a season with 10 games still remaining.
The Whitecaps went with the same starting 11 that played in last weekend's stunning 3-0 road victory over Seattle after fielding a completely different lineup in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with the Sounders at B.C. Place Stadium in CONCACAF Champions League play.
On the other hand, Salt Lake (7-9-8) dressed a number veterans in Tuesday's 1-0 away win over a Guatemalan side in the Champions League, but left many of the club's senior players at home Saturday with the domestic U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Sporting Kansas City set for Wednesday.
Rivero opened the scoring in the seventh minute after being taken down in the Real penalty area on a Vancouver free kick. The striker stepped up to the spot and sent goalkeeper Jeff Attinella the wrong way for his ninth goal of the campaign.
Kah, usually known more for his no-nonsense defending rather than his finishing, then scored his third goal of the season and third in two games in the 40th minute after some great work by Kekuta Manneh. The speedy winger danced around two defenders in the Salt Lake box before squaring a pass in front to Kah, who tapped it home from a few yards out.
The 35-year-old Kah scored twice in Vancouver's victory over Seattle last weekend after recording just a single goal over the last two years while with the Portland Timbers.
Techera made it 3-0 in the 50th minute from a tight angle off a great ball from Jordan Harvey that Rivero just missed poking in himself.
The pint-sized winger then added his second in the 68th minute from distance, blasting a shot past Attinella after a Whitecaps' free kick for his fourth of the season.
Things went from bad to worse in the 88th minute for Salt Lake when Abdoulie Mansally was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston. Techera nearly got his hat trick in the 90th minute with Real down a man, but Attinella stood his ground to keep the damage at 4-0.
Vancouver, which improved to 6-4-1 at home, swept the three-game season series with Real, a perennial contender currently sitting on the outside of the playoff picture. Salt Lake is now just 2-8-2 on the road this season.
Notes: Waston was shown a yellow card in the second half, ruling him out of the Whitecaps' next MLS game. ... Real head coach Jeff Cassar was ejected for arguing with referee Chris Penso in the 29th minute. ... Next up for Vancouver is the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship against the Impact in Montreal on Wednesday.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press