Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Point Gained

photo courtesy of Jarred Donalson

Last night KC pulled back another point late in the game against the LA Galaxy, converting a late penalty kick by Omar Bravo to earn a 2-2 draw with LA. It's the fourth time KC has earned a point after the 89th minute, giving them a -5 now in points gained/lost in the 89th minute on. The early going of the match saw plenty of back and forth between the two teams with neither side creating great chances, the best was a long shot by Graham Zusi that was just over the bar. In the 25th minute, LA grabbed the lead through Sean Franklin after KC twice failed to clear the area. After a long throw into the box, KC partially cleared it out only for LA to bring it right back and play in a cross. KC again partially cleared the ball, but Omar Gonzalez stepped up and lofted a little header over the back line to Franklin who had been held on by Aurelien Collin on the far side, and Franklin one times a shot past Jimmy Nielsen and into the net.

KC's attempts for an equalizer in the first half didn't really amount to much, they were unable to really test Josh Saunders in the first half at all. For the first part of the second half it was much of the same as KC controlled the game but really got very little out of their chances. In the 72nd minute though KC found their equalizer. Of a Zusi corner kick, CJ Sapong fired a one time shot that hit off of Davy Arnaud but fell right into the path of Julio Cesar who fired a one time volley that Saunders didn't even see at his near post until it was past him. The Galaxy though came right back down the field and found another goal again through Franklin. After Landon Donovan had taken the ball down KC's right side he played the ball centrally to Juninho. The ball was partially cleared to David Beckham who found a completely unmarked Franklin on the far side sliding him the ball and Franklin beat Nielsen for the second time giving LA the lead again. On the play Seth Sinovic probably has to take much of the blame for completely leaving Franklin when he really didn't need to, to try to help centrally. KC when back to pushing the game and thought they'd found an equalizer again in the 84th minute when Collin headed in a cross from Chance Myers. The goal though was called back by the sideline official for Collin being offside. Looking at the screen grab below, it appears that Collin was just leaning forward when the ball was played. I know these are the type of situations that people like to claim should be given to the attacker, or that there should be "daylight" between the two, but I can see why the goal wasn't given.

KC continued to push though and in stoppage time earned a penalty kick as Frankie Hejduk appeared to handle the ball inside the box while trying to keep a cross from getting to Davy Arnaud. Omar Bravo stepped up to take the penalty kick, and after Beckham earned a yellow for trying to "ice" Bravo by saying the ball wasn't on the line, Bravo coolly sent Saunders the wrong way and gave KC what in the end was probably a fair result for both teams.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Omar Bravo - If for nothing else but putting that PK away and making it look so easy. Bravo was all over the field last night for KC, especially late on.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Collin 5, Cesar 6, Besler 5, Sinovic 4, Zusi 5, Espinoza 5, Jeferson 4, Myers 5, Sapong 5, Bravo 6. Subs Arnaud 6, Saad 5.

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