Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fading Away

It's getting close to just saying "let's prepare for 2010". After today's result down in Houston, the Wizards playoff hopes get even more faint. Up a man for over 70 minutes, the Wizards had to fight back from a goal down to salvage a draw against the Houston Dynamo this afternoon.

KC came out and tried to push the game from the start getting into Houston's end multiple times early on. They were unluck to not have the lead inside the first 15 minutes, as Kei Kamara struck the wood work on a sliding effort after a cross from Claudio Lopez. Houston came right back down the field, and Brad Davis forced a strong save out of Kevin Hartman. Things started to get a little rough in the 16th minute, as Davy Arnaud slid into Dynamo keeper, Pat Onstad after a cross from Josh Wolff. Although replays made it look like Arnaud did not even touch Onstad. Only a minute later, the Dynamo were reduced to 10 men when Cam Weaver came in high and with his cleats up on Santiago Hirsig. Hirsig made a comedic meal out of the tackle, but Weaver received his marching orders, and for the 9th time this season, a Wizards opponent saw red. In those previous 8 encounters, the Wizards were 5-2-1, not bad odds when you need all 3 points.

Unfortunately it was the Dynamo that struck first not long after the red card. In the 26th minute, Luis Angel Landin lost his marker inside the Wizards box and latched onto a Brian Mullan cross at the back post to give the Dynamo the lead.

In the second half, KC started to push the game more, using their man advantage, and looking for the equalizer. Jack Jewsbury got played in 1v1 with Onstad, but Jewsbury tried to dribble around the Dynamo keeper, and instead got run out of bounds. Claudio Lopez was now playing more lofted balls into the box, and one of those chances almost resulted in an own goal as the Houston defender deflected a ball back to Onstad who did reacted well enough to catch the ball. After that, and the subbing out of Kei Kamara, Houston seemed to grab more control of the game and had a few opportunities to make it 2-0, but thankfully for the Wizards, Dominic Oduro was shooting as good as the Wizards were, as he shot high with an open net. It was Kamara's sub, Zoltan Hercegfalvi, who got the equalizer. Once again from a lofted back by Lopez. Zoltan was the first to the ball and he first timed it at Onstad, who could only parry it into his own net to tie the game at one. KC pushed to find the winner, creating half chances and some decent defensive plays by the Dynamo, but KC couldn't find net.

With the draw KC is now well out of the playoff picture. Even though they are only 6 points out of the final playoff spot, with all the teams between them and that spot, it's going to be hard for KC to make up the ground without someone else making up ground as well. On a day when 3 points was the requirement, KC only came away with 1 point.

Wizards Man of the Match - Zoltan Hercegfalvi - I was confused by this sub at first, doing a forward for forward sub down a goal needing a win, but Zoltan was the one that pulled back the equalizer. It was the least he deserves after his play recently, providing a strong spark off the bench.

Player Ratings - Hartman 6, Leathers 4, Conrad 5, Besler 5, Harrington 5, Arnaud 4, Jewsbury 5, Hirsig 5, Lopez 5, Kamara 5, Wolff 4. Subs Zoltan 6, Zusi 4, Myers 5.

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