Whitecaps shut out Earthquakes
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Camilo Sanvezzo and Kenny Miller scored second-half goals and the Vancouver Whitecaps beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 Saturday.
Sanvezzo and Miller, who returned after missing the previous game with a groin injury, scored 14 minutes apart as the Whitecaps (10-7-6) ended a three-game winless skid.
Vancouver also put six points between the two clubs in the tight Western Conference. The Earthquakes (8-10-6) had their winning streak end at three games.
Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted recorded his first MLS shutout as he made his home debut since signing with Vancouver in June. It was Vancouver's fourth shutout of the season by three different goalkeepers.
The two second-half goals came from Vancouver's strong defensive effort in the first 45 minutes.
The Whitecaps had an early chance as Miller's sixth-minute header rolled over the crossbar and rested on top of the San Jose net, but the hosts then spent much of the first half in defensive mode.
Gershon Koffie, playing in the holding midfielder spot for the first time, was a strong presence, often serving as a fifth defender and he made a number of long headers and kicks to get the Whitecaps out of trouble. Koffie drew the assignment after returning from a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
He filled the role usually performed by Jun Marques Davidson, who returned to the lineup from a one-game suspension for head-butting a Philadelphia player two weeks ago but was relegated to the bench.
Ousted, kept the first half scoreless as he got his arm on a Cordell Cato shot in the 39th minute.
Eight minutes into the second half, Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker blocked Chris Wondolowski's attempt to tap in a rebound off Ousted's hand. The scoring attempt developed off a free kick by former Whitecaps midfielder Shea Salinas.
Reo-Coker stood out again in the 60th minute when he sprinted with the ball from midfield, ran down the right flank with two defenders giving chase and put a pass behind another to Sanvezzo, who flicked the ball inside the far post to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead.
The goal was Camilo's 14th of the season.
Ousted preserved Vancouver's lead in the 70th minute as he caught a Salinas bicycle kick from close range. Cato had another chance about a minute later, but he fired wide from about 12 yards.
Miller gave the Whitecaps a 2-0 lead four minutes later as he put in a Russell Teibert cross from the right flank.