Thursday, August 23, 2007

No Joy for Blanco, Wizards take down Fire

The Wizards broke out of their two game losing streak, coming back to defeat Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the Chicago Fire 3-2 last night at Arrowhead Stadium. Blanco had a chance to give Chicago the lead in the 12th minute, when Jose Burciaga took down Justin Mapp in the box. Blanco's PK, though, was sent right at Kevin Hartman who saved, who didn't move and punched the weak PK away. Chicago finally did take the lead in first half stoppage time when Blanco played in Chad Barrett who beat Hartman short side to give the Fire the half time lead.

The Wizards came out with a renewed offensive vigor in the second half, and it paid off in the 54th minute. Davy Arnaud saved a ball from going out of bounds, Burciaga picked it up carried it down the line and crossed into Sasha Victorine, who roofed the shot into the net to level the score at 1. The Wizards took a man advantage in the games 66th minute when Chicago's Gonzalo Segares picked up a second yellow card for a tackle from behind. The Wizards took advantage of the man advantage 2 minutes later. As Burciaga was going up the line against Blanco, the ball looked to go out of bounds before Burciaga got to it, but no whistle blew. While Burciaga continued to play, Calen Carr stood waiting for a whistle that never came. By the time Carr recovered, Burciaga had already crossed the ball into Scott Sealy, who had a great first touch over a sliding CJ Brown. Sealy then tucked the ball into the far corner to make it 2-1 Wizards.

The Wizards were not done yet, though, as in the 82nd minute a cross by Ryan Raybould was flicked on by Eddie Johnson to Burciaga, who miss hit his shot into the net to make it 3-1. Less then a minute later though Dasan Robinson pulled one back for the Fire after a poorly punched clearance by Hartman on a Blanco free kick. The Wizards held on for the final 7 minutes to claim the win, and to help distance themselves from the pack that is currently outside the playoffs.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Kevin Hartman - KC - Saves a PK, and comes up with numerous other big saves to keep the Wizards in the game. These games were the reason the Wizards picked him up.
2. Jose Burciaga Jr. - KC - While his defense is still troublesome, you can not argue with his offensive impact, a goal and 2 assists, he'll be missing the return leg in Chicago due to yellow card suspension.
3. Cuauhtemoc Blanco - Chicago - Besides the fact that he helped bring in 12,000 plus people for a Wednesday night game, Blanco is the real deal, MLS is no longer pulling in the Lothar Matthaus' of the world, the guys that are just in MLS on vacation.

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