Whitecaps FC 2, Earthquakes 1
Barry Robson scored on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute to give the Vancouver Whitecaps a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday.
Dane Richards also scored for the Whitecaps (9-6-7). Vancouver, 1-3-3 in its previous seven matches, broke a tie with Seattle for sole possession of third place in the Western Conference.
In the 61st minute, Robson's initial shot deflected to Camilo but the Brazilian was tripped in the penalty area. Robson stepped up and put the ball in the top corner. It was the Scotland captain's second goal in six games with the Whitecaps.
''(I wanted to) just hit it as hard as I can,'' Robson said. ''If you hit it hard, even if the goalie picks the right side, it's still got that power on it and they might still not be able to save it.''
When Camilo went down the referee initially did not call a foul, but after a brief word with the assistant referee, a penalty was awarded. During that moment, Robson picked up the ball for himself.
''Barry Robson's scored in some really big games and Camilo's scored for other teams as well,'' Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie said. ''But Barry Robson wasn't going to give the ball away once he got it.''
That call was a sore spot with Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop after the game.
''The referee decided the game, well, undecided it,'' he said. ''His first reaction was `Get up' and then he looks over and he gives a penalty kick. We had chances after that to score but it was a bit of a game changer, a big moment in the game. I was disappointed we didn't get at least a point.''
Alan Gordon scored for the West-leading Earthquakes (13-5-4), who were coming off back-to-back wins at home.
Joe Cannon stopped two shots in the win for Vancouver while Jon Busch made one save in the loss.
''It was a big confidence booster for us,'' Rennie said. ''San Jose are having a great season ... and we've managed to beat them twice and were a little unfortunate in the first game against them.''
Richards put the Whitecaps ahead 1-0 in the 20th minute when Young-Pyo Lee fed him a great ball up the right wing. The Jamaican beat his man and fired a right-footed blast past Busch.
It was Richards' first goal in Vancouver since coming over in a trade that sent Sebastien Le Toux to New York on July 13.
Gordon tied it in the 38th minute after he won a physical battle in front of the Whitecaps goal and headed home long ball from Marvin Chavez for his ninth goal.
Vancouver began to press after that. Richards had the best chance when his shot flew high and wide of the left post, just after Darren Mattocks narrowly missed a pass from Camilo that would have given him an open net to shoot at.
San Jose's Justin Morrow seemed to have Cannon beat in the 80th minute after the goalie came out to challenge but Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit bailed out Cannon with a timely slide tackle.