Sunday, June 14, 2009

Putting the Foot on the Throat

When New England defender Emmanuel Osei received a red card in the 31st minute of last night's game between KC and New England the cheers from the crowd were joined with a few groans. As I've mentioned earlier, the Wizards have struggled to score when they're a man up. Last night, the Wizards finally did it, taking advantage of the man up to score 2 more goals and defeat the Revolution 3-1.

Kansas City started off strong, with Herculez Gomez forcing a strong save out of Matt Reis early in the first half. New England's early trips into the Wizards end led to some long throw ins that the Wizards did well to clear out. The way the game was going, an early goal was certainly coming, and in the 19th minute, the Wizards found the net. Davy Arnaud made a hard charging run, playing a give and go with Claudio Lopez. On the return from Lopez, Arnaud one touched the ball into the net ahead of New England midfielder, Pat Phelan. The lead didn't last long, as New England was able to get forward and earn a corner. Jay Heaps put a good shot on goal from the corner that was well saved by Kevin Hartman. Stever Ralston played the rebound from the shot to the back post where Sharlie Joseph met it, heading it past Hartman and leveling the score. Three minutes after the goal, Osei picked up his red card for retaliating to a foul commited by Lopez. Osei kicked out at Lopez and after Lopez got in Osei's face, Osei pushed the former Argentine international, earning the red card.

Five minutes after the red card, the Wizards took advantage. Herculez Gomez ran onto a great ball into the box. Gomez's original shot was saved by Reis, but the rebound deflected off midfielder, Jeff Larentowicz and into the net to give the Wizards the lead again. Unlike previous games when being a man up and going up a goal, the Wizards actually put the proverbial foot on the Revs throat and came down the field again and scored a 3rd goal only 3 minutes after the 2nd. A Lopez corner kick was flicked on net by Josh Wolff. Reis did well to punch the first shot away. Jimmy Conrad, though, headed the punch back in front of net, where Aaron Hohlbein had made a late run in and tapped the ball into the net to give the Wizards a 3-1 lead. KC shut down the Revolution for the rest of the first half and were comfortably into the half up 3-1.

In the second half, the Wizards continued to put pressure on the 10 man Revolution in the second half, creating more chances to try and extend their lead. Unfortunatley, Jack Jewsbury, Lopez, and Wolff all missed chances to make it 4-1. Lopez had what would have been a goal called back for being offside on a very close play. In the end, the Wizards never scored their 4th goal, but it wasn't needed, as the Revolution offense didn't really threaten KC's goal much in the second half. This as a whole was one of the best performances the Wizards have put together, Jewsbury, Gomez, Santiago Hirsig and others all had good games last night.

Wizards Man of the Match - Herculez Gomez - Gomez had a very good game last night, he was all over the field and was able to create multiple chances, including starting the play that led to Arnaud's goal and creating the own goal.

Honorable Mention - Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnaud

Player Ratings - Hartman 6, Watson 6, Conrad 6, Hohlbein 7, Besler 6 Hirsig 7, Jewsbury 7, Arnaud 7, Gomez 8, Lopez 6, Wolff 6. Subs Harrington 5, Zusi 5, Morsink NA


Reepicheep said...

Man you're hard on Lopez. I thought he could have easily been man of the match. A lower score than Jewsbury? Seriously? No way. He had his usual number of flubbed passes but in addition to his assist on Arnaud's goal he also had several goal scoring chances squandered and a goal taken away. He was NOT offsides. I sit exactly where he was supposedly offsides. Heck, his wiley play to draw the red card might earn man of the match award on its own.

It was nice to see Gomez finally put it all together.

Come on Mike, show Claudio some love.

Mike said...

Maybe I was a little harsh on Claudio. Jewsbury had chances as well, and I had thought that Jewsbury did a good job of shutting down the midfield for New England, which we hadn't done very well lately.

With the way we've looked a man up lately, I'm not sure if earning another player a red card should be looked on as a good thing for us. :)

Anonymous said...

I though Hirsig looked great controlling the game and he seems much more game fit. I thought he was looking like a man amongst boys (like Shalrie Joseph does). Speaking of Joseph, Hohlbein did a good job pestering him throughout the first half. I was glad he moved back to CM after the red card, as he looks like he can score no matter how bad the service might be.