Wizards record third consecutive shutout in 2-0 triumph over Quakes.
KANSAS CITY (Saturday, April 15, 2000) -- The Kansas City Wizards recorded their straight shutout for the first time in club history, permitting just two shots on goal in a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes before a meager 7,380 at Arrowhead Stadium tonight.
The Wizards (3-0-1, 10 points), behind another shutout behind goalkeeper Tony Meola are 3-0 at home midfielder Chris Henderson netted the game-winner in the 34th minute and striker Miklos Molnar added the insurance goal in the 79th minute.
"We have better players who consistently work to be a better team," said K.C. coach Bob Gansler who took over in the midst of a dreadful 8-24 1999 season. "We haven't had any adversity. It's been a big step, big step, medium step and a big step tonight. There will be bumps in the road though. But we don't have an 11-man team."
Henderson scored his second goal of the season of a play started by forward Mo Johnston who collected a ball and passed to Preki near the midfield line. Preki fed Henderson with a long pass to complete Henderson's cross-field run. San Jose keeper Joe Cannon got a hand on Henderson's shot, but the ball hit the back of the net, giving the Wizards a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute.
"It was a great layoff by Mo (Johnston) and Preki had an excellent set-up pass," Henderson said. "I just made a diagonal run across their defense and Miklos made a smart dummy run which crossed their defense up. All I wanted to do was put the ball hard on frame. The goalie got a touch, but it went in."
Meola preserved his shutout in the 72nd minute, knocking away a rising free kick from San Jose's Richard Mulrooney. Mulrooney launched a rocket from the top of the arc, clearing the wall and homing in on the upper right-hand corner before Meola managed to get one hand on it.
"The save was a timely one, but I haven't had a lot to do because the defense is playing so great," Meola said.
Two minutes later, the Earthquakes (1-2-1, 4 points) were dealt a hard blow when midfielder Khodadad Azizi was ejected from the game with two quick yellow cards, one for ungentlemanly conduct and then one for violent conduct, following a tussle in front of the Wizards' goal.
Molnar, the Dane, finished off the Quakes in the 79th minute, putting his own rebound past Cannon for the insurance. Matt McKeon and Henderson started the play and Molnar carried the ball into the San Jose penalty area. Molnar's shot beat Cannon, but deflected off the left goalpost and back into play. Molnar collected the rebound and slotted it into the empty net for his third goal.
"We got nothing going. We had no possession.," San Jose coach Lothar Osiander said. "We had decent approaches but nothing went in. They took our defense out of position. We have to live with the mistakes. Ronald Cerritos (the midfielder absent for World Cup qualifying with El Salvador) would have helped today."
Meola holds the MLS record for consecutive shutout minutes -- 410 minutes set in 1996 with the MetroStars. He currently has not allowed a goal in 280 straight minutes.
"We played hard. Meola had an unbelievable save. Then we scored the second goal," Johnston said. "That's the way you get three points."
Kansas City Wizards 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0Lineups: Kansas City - Tony Meola, Nick Garcia, Brandon Prideaux, Peter Vermes, Chris Henderson, Chris Klein (Chris Brown 82), Matt McKeon, Preki (Uche Okafor 67), Kerry Zavagnin, Mo Johnston, Miklos Molnar (Brian Johnson 93+). San Jose - Joe Cannon, John Doyle, Mauricio Wright, Ryan Tinsley, Richard Mulrooney, Travis Mulraine (Justin Evans 82), Ian Russell, Scott Bower (Dario Brose 59), Khodadad Azizi, Abdul Thompson Conteh (Wojtek Krakowiak 59), Esmundo Rodriguez.
Total shots:Kansas City 13 (Molnar 7), San Jose 9 (Doyle 2, Russell 2, Wright 2). Shots on goal: Kansas City 4 (four players with 1), San Jose 2 (Doyle 1, Mulrooney 1). Saves: Kansas City - Meola 2; San Jose - Cannon 2. Fouls: Kansas City 12 (four players with 2), San Jose 18 (Doyle 3, Rodriguez 3, Krakowiak 3). Offside: Kansas City 3, San Jose 0. Corner kicks: Kansas City 1, San Jose 2. Yellow card cautions: Kansas City - Johnston 25; San Jose - Azizi 74. Red card ejection: San Jose - Azizi 74. Possession percentage: Kansas City 53, San Jose 47.
Referee: Reggie Rutty. Referee's assistants: Richard Huber, George Gansner. Attendance: 7,380 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Weather: Overcast, 65 degrees.