Robson's penalty kick lifts Vancouver over San Jose

Barry Robson converted a penalty kick in the second half and Vancouver Whitecaps FC downed the San Jose Earthquakes for the second time in MLS this season, 2-1, on Sunday at BC Place.

Dane Richards scored his first goal for Vancouver in the 20th minute and Alan Gordon equalized before halftime for San Jose, but Robson made no mistake from the spot for his second goal in as many games.

Vancouver (9-6-7) snapped a four-match winless streak, as it defeated San Jose for the second time in three meetings this season. The Whitecaps defeated the Earthquakes, 2-1, at BC Place on May 5. San Jose won at home on April 7, 3-1.

San Jose (13-5-4) lost for just the fifth time this season, and now leads Real Salt Lake by just four points atop the Western Conference. Vancouver sits nine points off the pace in third place.

Richards, recently acquired in a trade with Red Bull New York, took a through ball from Young-Pyo Lee on the right wing and rove a shot inside the far post to open the scoring.

Gordon added to his career-high total in the 38th, as he got under a left-wing cross from Marvin Chavez to head a one-hopper into the left side for his 10th goal this season. Chavez also earned his ninth assist on the play.

Vancouver found the match-winner just after the hour mark as Camilo was fouled in the area by Sam Cronin. The penalty was not initially awarded by referee Jair Marrufo, but he consulted with his assistant and gave the foul.

Robson buried the penalty high and to the left, and Vancouver - which debuted Kenny Miller late in the match - held on for its first win since July 4 at the Colorado Rapids.

Vancouver will try to close the gap on the top two squads at second-place Real Salt Lake on Friday. San Jose will try to rebound Saturday when it hosts the Chicago Fire.