Gerso Fernandes scored a goal, created another credited as an own goal and added an assist as Sporting Kansas City secured a crucial 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at B.C. Place on Saturday night.
Felipe Gutierrez also added his eighth goal of the season to surpass his total from last year as SKC (6-7-7, 25 points) won their second consecutive league match for the first time this season.
Tim Melia made six saves to preserve his fourth clean sheet of the season. He's had at least eight during each of his previous four seasons as an MLS starter.
The only bad news for Kansas City was Ilie Sanchez's yellow card, which means he will serve a card-accumulation suspension for next Saturday's match against FC Dallas.
Yordy Reyna came closest to pulling a goal back for Vancouver (4-9-8, 20 points) when his 76th-minute free kick struck the goalpost. Zac MacMath also made eight saves in what may be his final start before Maxime Crepeau returns to the starting role.
Crepeau had won the job, but remained on the bench Saturday after his return a week ago from the Canada national team at the Concacaf Gold Cup.
Vancouver fullback Ali Adnan conceded the own goal in his team's third straight loss. He'll also serve a one-match suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the closing moments.
Fernandes helped put the visitors ahead in the 24th minute when he eluded two defenders with a slaloming run, then drove a left-footed shot that deflected off Adnan and across the goal line.
It was 2-0 in the 56th minute when MacMath cleared the ball from his own box straight to Fernandes, who then evaded a pressuring Vancouver defender and found Gutierrez on his left. Gutierrez unleashed a shot that rolled beyond MacMath's dive, after he appeared to be screened by his own defender.
Fernandes finally got a deserved goal for his efforts in the 90th minute. Krisztian Nemeth got around the left edge, then cut the ball back toward the top of the 6-yard box, where Fernandes sent in a finish that eventually crossed the line despite clearance attempts from a couple of Whitecaps defenders.