Sunday, August 10, 2008

Should Have Been Easier

3 points is 3 points, but that came should have been much easier then it was. Up 3-0, the Wizards allowed Chivas USA back into the game, and if not for some stellar keeping by Kevin Hartman, we'd be talking about Chivas coming back to earn a point being down 3-0. Thankfully it didn't, and we're talking about 3 points and the Wizards currently in a playoff spot.

The game was fast paced early, as both teams had chances to score within the first few minutes. The best was to Chivas off a corner, as Jim Curtin's effort was barely tipped over the bar by Hartman. In the 22nd minute, the Wizards grabbed the lead, as Claudio Lopez's cross was met by Sasha Victorine, whose diving header got by Zach Thornton in goal for Victorine's first of the season. The Wizards continued to pressure and had chances to double their lead. That goal, though, didn't come until just before half time, when some great short passing work in midfield led to a long ball over the top (kids this is why your coaches teach you that short-short-long passing stuff) to Davy Arnaud who played a low cross right to Lopez, who easily finished to give the Wizards a 2-0 lead heading into half time.

In the second half, the Wizards continued to pressure and were rewarded again, when Aaron Hohlbein played a ball over the top to Arnaud, who raced onto the ball, touched it over Thornton, and then nodded it into the net with his head/nose/chest to give the Wizards a 3-0 lead. As I mentioned last night, shortly before that, Kerry Zavagnin set the Wizards MLS minutes record, passing Nick Garcia. After that third goal, the Wizards took their foot off the gas and started to relax, and it ended up costing them in the 73rd. A lazy back pass by Jack Jewsbury to Hartman was almost intercepted by Atiba Harris, as Harris made for the ball, he was fouled by Hartman who tried to tackle the ball away, leading to a PK. Former Wizard, Carey Talley stepped up and buried the PK to get Chivas back in the game. Then in the 82nd minute on a corner kick, Chivas (playing without 10 players, and having players on the field I'd honestly never heard of) pulled within one, when Justin Braun met the ball. As mentioned earlier, if not for Hartman late on, the Wizards would have gotten at best a point out of this match instead of the full 3. In the end, though, they were able to get all three.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - I was ready to give the award for this game to Davy Arnaud, but after Chivas got it back to 3-2, Hartman made some huge saves to keep the lead and secure the win. Big time play from El Gato late on last night.

Honorable Mention - Davy Arnaud, Claudio Lopez

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