Wizards edge Toronto, 1-0
The Kansas City Wizards topped Toronto FC 1-0 Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Rookie striker and Canada native Teal Bunbury scored the game’s lone goal, putting Kansas City ahead for good in the 62nd minute.
Bunbury now has two MLS goals on the season, both of which have been game-winners. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made two saves to record his seventh shutout of the season.
Kansas City had a pair of chances to score early in the first half, but neither resulted in a dangerous shot. In the 18th minute, the Wizards broke out on the counter, but Davy Arnaud was flagged for offsides as Kei Kamara looked to connect a centering pass. In the 23rd minute, a nice movement sprang Craig Rocastle, but he was taken down by Adrian Cann as the English midfielder looked to slip in behind the defense. Cann received a yellow card on the play, and Toronto cleared the ensuing free kick without trouble.
The biggest play of the first half came from Nielsen, who denied Toronto FC striker Mista in the 43rd minute. Mista made a nice run in behind the defense, brought the ball down cleanly and fired on goal from the top of the penalty area, but Nielsen dove to his right and parried the ball out of play for another highlight-reel save.
Kansas City pushed the game early in the second half, eventually breaking through when Bunbury capitalized on a poor clearance in the 62nd minute. The play started with Kansas City left back Roger Espinoza clearing the ball up field. Toronto defender Cann attempted to clear, but his header directed toward his own net, and Bunbury charged in behind the defense. Bunbury got to the ball first, driving a powerful header toward on goal from 18 yards out. Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei had come quickly off his line and got a touch to the shot, but the ball bounced off the crossbar and over the line.
The Wizards continued to push, with Espinoza hitting a long-range shot to Frei in the 87th minute and substitute striker Josh Wolff stinging a long-range effort in the 90th minute that Frei did well to save.
Kansas City (5-8-4) returns to MLS play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, when it will play host to the defending MLS Cup Champions Real Salt Lake at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Real Salt Lake currently sits in second place in the Western Conference after a decisive 3-0 victory over D.C. United Saturday. Kansas City lost to RSL in the first meeting of the year 4-1 on May 29th at Rio Tinto Stadium.