Friday, December 07, 2007

Match Number 4

Yesterday I started my series on the Wizards Best Matches of 2007, with the Wizards 3-2 win over Columbus. Today we continue to the countdown with #4.

6/2 vs New York Red Bulls 3-2

Down the Byline original write up.

The Wizards had been off to a good start to the season, coming into the match, the Wizards were 5-2-1 and up near the top of the league. This match was a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference in this early season battle. Kansas City was coming in off of a big win in New England and an Eddie Johnson hattrick. New York was coming in hot as well, off season signing, Juan Pablo Angel was tearing up the league.

Angel and the Red Bulls got the first blow in the first half, as Angel scored his 4th goal of the season in only the 8th minute. New York was able to keep that lead throughout the rest of the first half. Into the second half, though, was a different story. Only one minute into the second half, a Michael Harrington's lofted ball over the top found Johnson, who one touched a looping ball over keeper Jon Conway, to level the score at 1-1. The Wizards took their first lead of the game in the 59th minute, when a Jose Burciaga Jr. cross found Johnson alone on the back post for an easy tap in.

Johnson completed his league record second hattrick in consecutive games in the 85th minute, when Sasha Victorine's pass cut the New York defense and found Johnson who was in alone on Conway. A goal by Dema Kovalenko in the 88th made things interesting through stoppage time, but the Wizards held on and moved to the top of the league.

The win, and subsequent move to the top of the league sparked this celebration in the concourse after the game.

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