Categorized | Match Reports

The Wizards cast anti-scoring spell on Crew

Posted on 16 July 2010 by jzidar

Many MLS teams were in action on Wednesday night but only two of them were facing off against each other.  The series between Columbus and Kansas has been a lopsided one in recent years. During both the 2008 and 2009 campaigns Columbus went undefeated against the Wizards.  On May 23rd the two clubs met for the first of their two game series during the 2010 season.  Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Emilio Renteria combined on a corner kick to score the lone goal in that match to give the Crew a win at Community America Ballpark.

The Wizards came to Columbus Wednesday night for the second half of the series and were looking to get their first points after returning from the World Cup break. The Wizards’ have lost all three of the games they’ve played since coming back from the break.  The Crew were the exact opposite, not only have they gone undefeated in their MLS league games but they’ve also earned wins in both the Open Cup matches in which they’ve participated.  Columbus was expecting to easily dispatch yet another conference foe and extend their lead in the East. Kansas came into Columbus desperate for points and took it to the Crew, mainly through the use of the counterattack.

Columbus

—————–Hesmer—————–

—Hejduk–Marshall–Iro–Padula—

——————Carroll—————–

—–Gaven—–Moffat—–Rogers—–

———-Schelotto——Garey———-

Bench: Gruenebaum; Brunner, O’Rourke, Francis; Ekpo; Lenhart(Garey 65′), Renteria(Rogers 65′)

Kansas

——————–Nielsen——————-

-Harrington-Conrad-Thomas-Espinoza-

–Smith–Arnaud—-Auvray–Rocastle–

———–Kamara——Bunbury———–

Bench: Kronberg; Leathers, Aiyegbusi(Auvray 83′); Diop(Smith 88′), Jewsbury, Zusi(Rocastle 64′); Wolff

Warzycha’s decision to march out the exact same lineup from sweat soaked draw in Houston just four days previous may prove to be a fatal blow to Columbus’ Supporters Shield hopes. It was an unexpected and seemingly unnecessary move that was most likely the leading cause of the Crew’s inevitable downfall against Kansas. The loss meant that the Crew squandered their game in hand on the New York Red Bulls and lost three precious points in the race for the SS.

Columbus pushed hard right from the opening whistle and unleashed the first shot of the match just three minutes into the match.  Kansas was able to withstand the storm and attack on the counter. Stephane Auvray and Ryan Smith were dominant in the midfield and consistently out maneuvered Brian Carroll and Adam Moffat. Despite Kansas’ dominance of the midfield and obvious speed advantage the momentum early in the game was tipped in Columbus’ favor. It didn’t last long, fourteen minutes into the match the Wizards’ counter attack strategy paid off.

Former OSU product, Roger Espinoza, collected the ball after a unsuccessful Crew corner kick.  Espinoza found Smith inside the center circle who then turned and sent a long leading pass in behind the Columbus defense. MLS rookie, Teal Bunbury, ran onto the end of the pass, took a step and launched a shot from the top of the box that squeaked between William Hesmer’s legs and into the net. Bunbury, Michael Harrington and Kei ‘Columbus reject’ Kamara celebrated by running to the Nordecke and saluting them.

From that point on Columbus poured on the pressure but just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net. It was for lack of opportunities that the Crew didn’t level the game. The black and gold peppered the Kansas’ goal with 15 shots(6 on goal) and four corner kicks in the second half.  Jimmy Nielsen made big save after big save to keep the Crew off the scoreboard. Columbus was visibly fatigued but the offense got an infusion of life with the insertion of Renteria, Ekpo and Lenhart.  The teams desperation became horribly obvious in the final 10 minutes or so when the formation changed drastically.  The game plan was bomb and pray.  Moffat, Padula and Carroll manned the back line while Gaven and Ekpo provided a small semblance of a midfield. The five of them would retrieve the ball and pound it into the final third where a Frankenstein version of the forward line was waiting. Marshall, Iro, Lenhart, Renteria and Schelotto all lurked around the box trying to win headers and get the ball on goal. Every attack was a little closer than the last but ultimately Steven DePiero blew the whistle before Columbus could equalize.

Referee: Steven DePiero, Referee Assistants: Greg Barkey; James Conlee, 4th Official: Jasen Anno

Weather at kickoff: mid 80s and partly cloudy

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