Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Streak Stays Alive

It took a late equalizer, but KC moved their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 games, tying a team record last night with their 1-1 draw with Chivas USA. At times KC didn't look like they were going to get the result, either due to the offense not really clicking early on, or late saves by Chivas keeper, Dan Kennedy, it looked like the streak would end. But Omar Bravo's header in stoppage time gave KC a share of the points last night.

Chivas seemed to control the early parts of the game, pressuring early and earning a half chance that Matt Besler blocked in front of goal. Then in the 12th minute, Nick LaBrocca struck a chipped effort off the cross bar after he'd done a good job to turn with the ball. Jimmy Nielsen though did extremely well to smother the rebound so as to now give the Goats another chance. After absorbing the early pressure, KC started to come alive and in the 26th minute, over half the stadium thought KC had taken the lead through CJ Sapong. Sapong's curling effort from outside the box though went just over the bar and landed on the roof of the net. Some of KC's issues offensively early on though seemed to come in the form of Milos Stojcev who had a horrible game and was subbed out after only 38th minute. Before that happened though, Chivas re-established their control of the game and in the 30th, LaBrocca found the opener (and 10,000th goal in MLS history). Chivas USA cut up the center of KC's team through Blair Gaven and Justin Braun, before Braun slid a ball through to LaBrocca, who had totally lost his marker, Julio Cesar. LaBrocca easily slid his shot past the onrushing Jimmy Nielsen to give Chivas the lead. Chivas pushed right after the goal and Nielsen had to come up with two decent saves on Braun to keep the score at 1-0.

In the second half, KC came out with more attack offensively and within the first 15 minutes it seemed that Omar Bravo could have had two PKs called in his favor for fouls in the box, but like the home opener against Chicago, the referee was not interested in calling the fouls. KC though continued to push the game while Chivas tried to absorb the pressure. Kennedy made a good save on a volley from Chance Myers in the 64th minute, the first in a string of good saves for the Chivas keeper. Chivas tried to hit on the counter, but really didn't test Nielsen much in the second half. As the game wore on KC continued to try to find an equalizer, but their best chances came as the game was winding down. Kei Kamara, who subbed in for the ineffective Stojcev forced a diving save from Kennedy in the 85th, and only minutes later, Bravo forced a diving save as well. Finally they found their goal in stoppage time. Besler played a long ball over the top that Birahim Diop did well to head on towards Kamara. His marker beat the Sierra Leone man to the ball, but the clearance attempt went right into the middle of the box, where Bravo had made his run. Bravo powered his header past Kennedy, giving him no chance.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Omar Bravo - Bravo had a strong game, probably could have had a couple PKs called in his favor on other days. Some good goalkeeping by Kennedy kept Bravo from more than just his equalizer.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 6, Collin 6, Besler 5, Harrington 5, Cesar 4, Espinoza 5, Zusi 5, Stojcev 3, Sapong 5, Bravo 6. Subs Kamara 5, Sassano 5, Diop 5.


bfos said...

I've been saying it for weeks. This Stojcev nonsense has to stop. Worst of all, I have no idea where it came from. Kamara left for international duty and came back to find his spot taken over by one of the teams weakest players? I just don't get it.

Drew said...

Nice to see a DP stepping up when it matters, though the terrible Zarek Valentine cannot clear a ball. Dan Kennedy man of the match for me. I thought KC was poor for most of the first half, and again it was Cesar's fault for the La Brocca goal. He was the one marking La Brocca as he made the run. One day KC will pay badly for his poor defending like they did early in the season. Everyone else is picking him up right now. Myers and Kamara both looked good as well. From TV the attendance in the stand across from the main shot looked poor. A lot of empty seats.

Dan said...

Drew it was brutal sitting in the east stand yesterday, incredibly hot on that side of the stadium, I spent time on the concourse because it was so hot in my seats.

peagiddy said...

I think the attendance was a problem because of so many home games being crammed in. I figure most people don't feel the need to go to so many games in such a short period. The blistering heat surely had a role, too.