The Wizards took the lead, gave it up, then held on after going down 2 men to earn a 1-1 draw with league leading Chivas last night at Community America Ballpark. Both Kansas City and Chivas got up and down the field fairly quickly early on in the game, but neither team was able to get many good chances early on. As the half rolled on, Chivas started to dictate the pace a bit more and control the game. Goalkeeper, Kevin Hartman had to make a couple very fine saves to keep KC in the game, including one off of a free kick that took a deflection on the way through that Hartman did well to touch over the bar. The team's went into the half tied at 0-0.
Early in the second KC grabbed the lead through Claudio Lopez. Roger Espinoza had been fouled about 24 yards from goal. Lopez took the free kick and struck it sweetly into the side netting on the near post giving KC the lead. The lead lasted less than 10 minutes though, as Chivas won a free kick in the 64th minute that was touched on by former Wizard, Sasha Victorine to Eduardo Lillingston, who cut back on Lance Watson and finished inside Hartman's near post to level the score.
Then the game started to get interesting. In the 67th minute, Josh Wolff was brought down just outside the box, although Wolff made a meal of the tackle, the foul was not called. Wolff took exception to comments made by Mariano Trujillo and Shavar Thomas for his dive on the tackle. In the confrontation Wolff leaned in towards Trujillo and the two "bumped" heads (although bumped is a relative turn, it was barely a touch). It doesn't matter how weak the bump was, it was the act of Wolff leaning in that the referee saw as an attempted head butt that earned him the red card. Maybe a little harsh, but Wolff has to be smarter in those situations. The play also saw Trujillo and Jack Jewsbury yellow carded (Jewsbury for dissent). A man up, Chivas was able to control the game more and looked the team more likely to find a winner, although KC did have their chances on the counter. In the 83rd minute, a clumsy tackle by Santiago Hirsig drew him a second yellow on the night, meaning another red for KC and they'd have to finish the game with 9 players. The Hirsig card (for a reckless tackle) was harsh in my opinion, considering the fouls that the referee had let go without handing out cards earlier in the game. The referee lost control early in the game, allowing the players to play so much that he lost control of the game, resulting in him having to get whistle and card happy to try and regain control of the game. the Wizards still held on late and were able to come away with 1 point from the game.
Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - Made the big saves required of him, especially in the first half when he had some very good saves to keep the game level. He made one gaffe in the second half, but it ended up not costing the Wizards.
Player Ratings - Hartman 7, Watson 5, Conrad 5, Hohlbein 5, Besler 4, Arnaud 5, Hirsig 5, Jewsbury 5, Espinoza 4, Wolff 4, Lopez 6. Subs Gomez 5, Harrington NR, Kraus NR