Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Draw

A mix of starters and reserves took the field against New England last night and pulled out a 1-1 draw with the Revolution, leaving the Wizards on 2 points heading into their final group game of this year's SuperLiga. The Wizards can't seem to get away from the red cards either. For the 6th straight game, a red card was issued in a Wizards game. This time, it was to Revolution midfielder, Mike Videira for an elbow on Aaron Hohlbein as the two were going up for a header in the 34th minute. Like has been the case many times this season when going a man up, the Wizards couldn't capitalize on the extra man.

The injury depleted Revolution controled the game in the early going, with Kheli Dube forcing Kevin Hartman into an early save. Videira, before his red card was a force for the Wizards to deal with, making good runs and getting the Revolution into dangerous positions that they just couldn't finish from. After the red card, the Wizards started to come alive a bit, but still were struggling to produce any solid chances. Late in the first half, the Revolution got a goal they probably deserved, when Kenny Mansally put a partially cleared throw-in into the path of Dube who was in alone on Hartman and slotted the ball inside the post.

The second half was more of the same from the Wizards, as they struggled to put anything together offensively. Dube almost doubled the lead, but his chip was just wide of Hartman's goal. As the game wore on, though, the Revolution continued to tire and with their already depleted roster, the Wizards finally started to take advantage on the wings. Crosses started finding Wizards players in the box, and the team forced Matt Reis to make some saves. Finally in the 85th minute, the Wizards got their goal. Herculez Gomez played a great cross into Josh Wolff at the near post. Wolff missed touching the ball, but it deflected off Revolution defender, Darrius Barnes and past Reis, putting the Wizards on the board. Minutes later, the Wizards almost stole the points as Gomez again played in a good cross to Wolff whose header went wide of the post. In the end, though, the Wizards didn't deserve the full 3 points and didn't get them.

Still, the Wizards control their own destiny of advancing. Should they defeat Santos Laguna on Sunday, the Wizards will be in the semifinals. If they draw then they have to hope that the Revolution defeat Atlas, or that the Wizards score more goals than Atlas does. A loss, and the Revolution have to beat Atlas by more than what we lose by for the Wizards to advance.

Wizards Man of the Match - Herculez Gomez - He only played 27 minutes, but he probably created the best chances for the Wizards from his crosses after he came on. Before that point, the Wizards offense looked anemic and never likely to put the ball in the net.

Player Ratings - Hartman 6, Leathers 4, Hohlbein 5, McKenzie 5, Besler 5, Jewsbury 5, Hirsig 5, Arnaud 4, Harrington 4, Thompson 3, Wolff 4. Subs Lopez 5, Gomez 6, Kraus NR, Morsink NR.

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