Johnson Stays Hot in Wiz Tie

Eddie Johnson re-took the league lead in scoring as he tallied two goals to help the Kansas City Wizards to a 2-2 tie at home against the Colorado Rapids. In the 12th minute, Rapids forward Herculez Gomez got by Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad with some nice moves and fired a bending shot toward the upper corner, only to see his effort go just wide.

Eddie Johnson would put the Wizards ahead in the 24th minute when he got on the end of a centering pass from Davy Arnaud in the box, slotting the ball past Rapids ‘keeper Bouna Coundoul at the near post for a 1-0 lead.

Six minutes before halftime, Herculez Gomez would cause problems again for the Wizards defense. As keeper Kevin Hartman was racing to beat Gomez to the ball, defender Conrad appeared to shove Gomez, resulting in a penalty kick. Rapids midfielder Jovan Kirovski stepped up and beat Hartman down the middle to even things up as ‘El Gato’ dove to his right. It was the Rapids first goal in four league matches.

The Wizards would answer just before halftime, again in the form of Johnson. In the 43rd minute, Arnaud’s shot from the left side skipped through the box and caromed off the right post and back into Eddie Johnson’s path. The U.S. international easily put the ball away in the open net for his second goal of the game, and 12th of the season, to put the Wizards back on top at the break.

Just before the hour-mark, Eddie Johnson appeared to have bagged his third hat-trick of the season as he scored after receiving a perfect through-pass. Unfortunately for Johnson and the Wizards, the assistant referee whistled the play dead because of offsides, keeping it a one-goal game.

In the 66th minute, the very physical match turned ugly. During a scramble in the Colorado box, Wizards defender Jose Burciaga was taken down while going for the ball. When he got up, he immediately went after Coundoul, needing to be restrained by teammates. Burciaga was shown a straight red card, leaving Kansas City a man-down for the remainder of the game.

Ten minutes later, the Rapids would capitalize on the man-advantage. Recently acquired defender Facundo Erpen rose above his man on a corner kick and headed the ball to the far post and in, tying the game, 2-2.

In extra time, Coundoul was forced to make a save on an Arnaud breakaway to preserve the tie in a match that saw eight yellow cards and one red.

After the tie, Kansas City moves back into third place in the hotly-contested Eastern Conference, just one point behind New England and New York, the co-leaders. They are also only one point ahead of fourth-place Columbus and two points ahead of fifth-place D.C. United.

Colorado remains in fourth place in the Western Conference, six points behind Chivas USA for third.

KC – Eddie Johnson (Davy Arnaud, Sasha Victorine) 24’
COL – Jovan Kirovski (PK) 42’
KC – Eddie Johnson 43’
COL – Facundo Erpen (Terry Cooke) 77’

KC – Kevin Hartman, Michael Harrington, Nick Garcia, Kerry Zavagnin, Jose Burciaga Jr., Eddie Johnson (Yura Movsisyan 81’, Ryan Pore 89’), Sasha Victorine (Kurt Morsink 46’), Carlos Marinelli, Jimmy Conrad, Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnuad

COL – Bouna Coundoul, Facundo Erpen, Brandon Prideaux, Jovan Kirovski, Mehdi Ballouchy, Jose Cancela, Herculez Gomez (Omar Cummings 84’), Terry Cooke, Ugo Ihemelu, Nicolas Hernandez (Jacob Peterson 74’), Pablo Mastroeni

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