VANCOUVER, B.C. – Missed opportunities were the story for the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, as they misfired their way to a 1-1 draw at BC Place against Real Salt Lake.
It was only a bit of fortune that paved their way to the tie, as Nat Borchers slipped in the area and inadvertently handled the ball, conceding penalty in the 83rd minute.
Up stepped Camilo, and what looked set to be a Vancouver loss was salvaged as a draw as he struck the ball into the bottom left corner of Nick Rimando’s goal.
That atoned on some level for a slew of first-half misses, in which he skied a ball from six yards, was denied on a well-hit free kick attempt and saw a long range effort tipped wide by Rimando.
"I think he played well today,” head coach Martin Rennie told reporters after the match in reference to Camilo. “He was a little bit unfortunate. It was one of those situations where if he does take a couple of those chances then we win the game but he's got a goal on the penalty kick.
“He showed great composure because it was such a long time to delay before he actually took it. But he's had a good performance today. He's been dangerous today and I think in general our front players have done quite well."
Rennie may have been impressed with his attacking group, which attempted 16 shots to Real’s four, but failing to convert opportunities is becoming a recurring storyline for this Whitecaps squad and that’s something they’ll need to sort out going forward.
“I just think it’s just a matter of time until our luck changes,” Reo-Coker said of the missed opportunities. “It’s not something where you have to say, oh, you have to go out on the training ground and work even harder, or put a lot of emphasis on it.
“It’s something that happens in football – you can get games like that.”
Vancouver were lucky to wiggle away with a point at all given Olmes Garcia's wonderful curled strike to open the scoring in the 65th minute, but Rennie gave a mixed response when asked what his side could have done to prevent the goal.
“We could have closed him down better,” Rennie said. “But it was one of those strikes – he probably won’t do that very often and it just happened to be against us which is always disappointing. There’s always things you can do when you lose a goal that you could have done better.
“At the time I felt we could have closed him down better. I’ll look at it more. I’m sure there’s multiple mistakes – there usually is on a goal – but it was a great strike and there wasn’t a lot Joe could have done about that.”
The Whitecaps, now 2-2-2, return to action on Saturday as they play on the road against FC Dallas.