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D.C. stumbles in playoff chase with loss to Vancouver

Oct 13, 2011 - 4:25 AM Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - D.C. United failed to close the gap on its Eastern Conference playoff competition on Wednesday, falling to Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 at BC Place.

Entering the contest with two games in hand, D.C. United squandered a golden opportunity to inch closer to a playoff spot, as it remains five points shy of the final postseason slot held in tandem by Red Bull New York and the Houston Dynamo.

Vancouver scored early in each half, as Camilo got the 'Caps off the mark in the opening minute of the match while Long Tan struck in the 46th minute to record his first career Major League Soccer goal. Brandon McDonald pulled one back for D.C. in the 57th minute, but it proved to be nothing more than consolation goal.

Camilo helped Vancouver to a dream start, poaching a goal from close range inside the first minute of the game. Jordan Harvey sent a long, curling cross into the box from the left flank, and Camilo wandered to the six yard box unmarked to redirect a shot past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

The Whitecaps took advantage of United's slow start to the second half as well, as Tan doubled Vancouver's lead in similar fashion to the opener. Alain Rochat sent a long cross from the left sideline toward Tan at the far post. The Chinese striker headed his effort off the crossbar and into the back of the net.

D.C. United tried to produce a comeback after McDonald headed a set piece past 'Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon, but it failed to conjure another goal.

Vancouver has now won two straight matches for the first time this season, but it has already played itself out of playoff contention. D.C. has lost three straight as it retains sixth place in the East with 38 points on the year.

Both teams return to MLS action on Saturday. D.C. (9-11-11) hosts the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium while Vancouver (6-16-10) will head to Pizza Hut Park to face FC Dallas.