Last night out at Community America Ballpark, the Wizards looked set to fall for the first time at home this season. Thankfully, Kei Kamara pounced on a ball rolling in front of ball, burying it in the net for his second of the game in the 89th minute to give KC a 2-2 draw with the Fire. Kamara atoned for his miss against the LA Galaxy a few weeks ago in a similar situation with that goal as the Wizards came back from 2 down to get the draw.
Things didn't start well for KC, as Chicago came out as the more pressing side and were rewarded for their pressure early on. Marco Pappa was played in behind the defense and sent a great ball into the back post where Julio Martinez had beaten Roger Espinoza to the ball and beat Jimmy Nielsen to give Chicago the early lead. The Fire continued to pressure and Nielsen was called upon to make a big save on Patrick Nyarko shortly after the goal. KC started to come into the game, and should have equalized in the 26th off a Ryan Smith corner. Andrew Dykstra dropped the ball as it went into his hands and it fell to Pablo Escobar who had his first shot saved off the line by Wilman Conde. The ball came back to Escobar who scuffed his shot into the path of Jimmy Conrad who had his shot blocked. The ball went into the path of Jack Jewsbury who had one shot blocked by a defender and a second shot saved nicely by Dykstra.
KC had thought they'd equalized in first half stoppage time, but mere moments before Davy Arnaud hit a 30 yard rocket that found net, referee Michael Kennedy blew his whistle as Conde was down in the box for Chicago and had been for a good minute. I don't have a huge problem with the play being blown dead as Kennedy likely saw the Conde injury as serious enough to stop play. My problem is how long Kennedy waited until blowing the whistle.
The second half didn't start well for the Wizards either, as they found themselves down 2-0 early in the second half as Nyarko found substitute Brian McBride in the box with a ball that was partially deflected by Escobar, McBride was completely unmarked in the middle of the box and made KC pay as he beat Nielsen to the near side doubling the lead. KC responded well though, as only two minutes later Kamara scored his first of the night getting the ball at the top of the box, turning and firing into the net past Dykstra who was frozen in the middle of the goal. The shot at first glance appears to take a bit of a deflection off of Conde and into the net.
KC continued to be the dominate team in the second half, and Ryan Smith had a couple chances to get the Wizards level, but was twice stopped by some good saves by Dykstra. It was good to see Smith playing well again, he was going at defenders in 1v1 situations, beating players on the dribble and doing a lot of what we'd seen against DC, but not as much since, hopefully he's starting to figure out what he can get away with in MLS before getting hit. He's just got to get that final touch right on his shots. KC's equalizer in the 89th will go to Kamara and there won't be an assist, but that play was made entirely by Teal Bunbury who received a throw in at the corner of the box, turned his defender, beat another with a quick burst of speed, shrugged off a challenge and fired a shot at the near post that deflected off the post and rolled in front of the goal right where Kamara had made his run, and Kamara had an easy tap in that he wasn't going to miss this time.
Wizards Man of the Match - Kei Kamara - Kamara has completely put the LA game behind him and continues to be extremely dangerous for the Wizards every single game. His first goal was extremely well taken and well set up as he turned to score that goal. His second was a pure poachers goal, being in the right place at the right now, a nice finish.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Harrington 5, Conrad 5, Escobar 3, Espinoza 4, Zusi 5, Jewsbury 5, Arnaud 6, Wolff 4, Kamara 8, Smith 6. Subs Bunbury 6.