Chivas shuts out Kansas City
The Kansas City Wizards continued to skid Saturday night with a 2-0 loss to Chivas USA at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
The game was scoreless at halftime, but Chivas notched a pair of second-half goals from striker Justin Braun to take control of the game.
"It's terrible," Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said of the loss. "The guys put the effort in, they put everything in. We played exactly the way we had practiced all week. I commend them for the effort because the first half was probably the best half of soccer that we have played, and we came out in the second half with the same kind of intensity."
Kansas City had the upper hand for much of the game in terms of possession and scoring opportunities.
The game got started offensively for the Wizards in the third minute on a Josh Wolff corner kick. Wolff played it back for on-rushing Michael Harrington, who delivered a high cross to Ryan Smith. Smith struck the ball well, but right at Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton. Then, in the 15th minute, Kansas City captain Davy Arnaud dribbled around two defenders to take a shot from 18 yards out, but it sailed just over the crossbar.
Wolff had a run toward goal in the 30th minute, but he was fouled from behind, leaving the Wizards with a free kick from 25 yards out. Arnaud lined up to take the kick and, after Smith stepped over, Arnaud played the ball behind him to Kei Kamara, who rifled a shot past the wall toward the far post. Thornton was able to make the diving stop to send the ball over the end line.
Chivas USA nearly opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when Shavar Thomas was unable to fully clear the ball, and Chivas midfielder Blair Gaven was left with the ball in space. His shot from 30 yards was sent over the bar by Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, however.
In the 36th minute Zach Thornton came up injured after diving for the ball on a shot from Wolff. Dan Kennedy was sent in to replace him between the posts.
Chivas USA took a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute when Justin Braun collected a ball near the top of the penalty area. Braun took three touches toward goal and beat keeper Nielsen to his right from the top of the box.
The Wizards nearly answered in the 68th minute when Smith had time to cross the ball into the middle of the box for Arnaud’s head. Arnaud’s glancing header beat Kennedy but skipped off the crossbar and over for a goal kick.
Five minutes later the Wizards had a chance to tie the game again on a corner kick taken by substitute Graham Zusi. However, Stéphane Auvray, was unable to direct a shot on frame, and the ball went out for another goal kick.
Chivas USA sealed victory in the 87th minute after Braun scored his second goal of the night.
The loss was the latest frustration for the Wizards. Kansas City dropped to 3-8-3 with the loss and is 0-8-1 when allowing the first goal.
"Everything we did tonight was right besides winning the game," Arnaud said. "Possession was good, so were the energy we brought, and the chances we created. We were all over them. It's frustrating and disappointing because you want the group to have a good feeling after the game after how much effort we put into it. We need to keep the same mentality going because if we keep putting out that much effort then things will turn around and go the other way for us."
The Wizards play a pair of road games next week, first visiting the Columbus Crew Wednesday before taking on the Colorado Rapids Saturday. The following weekend, English powerhouse Manchester United comes to Kansas City for the opening event at the New Arrowhead Stadium.