Sunday, September 05, 2010

Point on the Road

It wasn't the best game, but the Wizards continued their good run of form, pulling out a 1-1 draw on the road against the expansion Philadelphia Union. KC came out early pressing the game, Ryan Smith was on top of his game early as he turned his man around a few times early on. After the early success though, Philadelphia started to control the game for the Union. They controlled the game and had the more dangerous of the chances in the first half. The almost took the lead in the 26th minute on a blast from Stefani Miglioranzi. Miglioranzi was about 30 yards out from goal and hit a blast that would have likely been a routine save for Jimmy Nielsen but took a deflection off of Jimmy Conrad on the way through that wrongfooted Nielsen. Luckily for the Wizards the deflection carried the ball onto the post and back out into play. Only a minute later Nielsen made a big save on Sebastien Le Toux after he held off Michael Harrington, turned and fired a shot that Nielsen did well to get down for and push wide.

Philly continued to push the game and in the 33rd minute took the lead. Off of a thrown in at midfield Harrington and Stephane Auvray both went for the ball in the air and collided. The ball was played to Danny Mwanga who took the ball down the wing. Conrad pushed out to mark Mwanga as he entered the box. Harrington slid into the middle, but could not stay in front of Le Toux. Mwanga's centering pass was easily put past Nielsen by the Union's leading scorer giving Philly the 1-0 lead. After the early flurry for KC, the Wizards were very ineffective in the first half and it looked like a return to the Wizards of earlier in the season.

In the second half, KC came out and tried to push the game, they had a good half chance immediately from the kickoff as Smith got a ball played over the top by Craig Rocastle. Smith got into the box but couldn't get a shot off before the ball was knocked away. Philly then continued to play like they had in the first half, and a nice foot save by Nielsen on Justin Mapp kept it from being 2-0. KC created some chances of their own as the play started to go back and forth a bit. Birahim Diop forced a good save out of Chris Seitz off a free kick from Davy Arnaud. Back on the defensive end of the field, Nielsen himself came up with another big save off of a Mapp free kick that Le Toux headed towards the near post.

Smith continued to cause problems for Philadelphia when he got the ball and in the 70th minute was fouled right on the left side of the goal. Arnaud buried the free kick from the tough angle putting it over Seitz's head and into the side netting. A well struck free kick, but it was helped by some poor positioning by Seitz. Neither side was able to find the net again, and KC walked out with 4 points from their last two road games, which is only 1 point less than the team has had all season up to this point on the road.

Wizards Man of the Match - Ryan Smith - Smith was all over the place against Philadelphia going at the Union's back line the entire game. The Union's tactic of fouling Smith came back and bit them when Smith's foul led to Arnaud's free kick that tied the game.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Harrington 5, Conrad 6, Thomas 6, Espinoza 6, Arnaud 7, Auvray 4, Rocastle 6, Bunbury 5, Diop 5, Smith 7. Subs Wolff 5, Leathers 5, Jewsbury 5.


J said...

A somewhat strange game, well-suited to the old phrase "a game of two halves." KC looked pretty bad in the first half (tho Philly didn't look great, just not as bad), but KC was quite dangerous and dominant in the second half I thought.

I agreed with Sasha V on TV on that late offside call against Teal Bunbury. He wanted to see a replay (we never did, and I was too lazy to rewind my DVR), but I was positive that Philly's deep-lying left back kept Teal on. Oh well, 4 pts against LA and Philly on the road is a pretty good haul. Hopefully we can keep it up when we get back into action on the 22nd.

bfos said...

How do you rate Harrington a 5? I think anything over a 2 is generous. He was horrendous.

Anonymous said...

He had a poor first half, but who didn't for KC? He was his normal solid self in the second.