Sunday, November 02, 2008

Late Goal Sees Advantage Columbus

The Wizards gave up a goal early in second half stoppage time that has changed the entire course of the series between the Wizards and the Crew. Heading into second half stoppage time, the Wizards were down a man and up a goal trying to hang on and take a 1 goal advantage to Columbus next week. Unfortunately the late strike will send the two teams back to Columbus tied 1-1.

In a weak effort by both teams in the second half, the best chance for either team came when Kevin Hartman tipped a shot by Frankie Hejduk, headed for the near post corner, over the bar. At half time, the Wizards made some changes, and the Wizards came out with more determination and were rewarded with a goal in the 53rd minute. Davy Arnaud started the play disposing Brad Evans before playing the ball to Abe Thompson who played the ball back to Arnaud. Arnaud fed Claudio Lopez out wide on the left. Lopez was able to control, take a touch and then played a ball into the box, where Arnaud met it with a header that was by Will Hesmer before he even got his hands up.

After that, Columbus picked up the pressure trying to get the equalizer. The Wizards tried to hit on the counter attack, but their shots were going wide of the net. In the 75th minute things got extremely interesting as midfielder Herculez Gomez picked up a straight red for a scissor tackle on Gino Padula. Gomez seconds before appeared to be fouled, but the call was not made. Gomez got back up and slide through Padula, but in the process caught Padula's trailing leg between his. Leaving the referee with no choice. The Wizards, though, were able to hold on and went into second half stoppage time clinging to the lead. Unfortunately about a minute into stoppage time, the Wizards had trouble clearing their defensive third, having at least 5 or 6 chances to clear the ball. They couldn't get the ball cleared and it fell to Steven Lenhart who put it past Hartman to level the series. Now the Wizards must go to Columbus needing to get a result to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Wizards Man of the Match - Davy Arnaud - Arnaud played as the Arnaud that we all know he is, and his entire play on the goal was amazing, from the ball through to Lopez, to the powerful header, it was a great play.

Honorable Mention - Kevin Hartman

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