Major League Soccer
Two Cienfuegos goals help power Galaxy to 5-1 rout of Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Saturday, August 5, 2000) -- Striker Sasha Victorine’s goal sent Los Angeles into halftime ahead 1-0, then midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos added two goals and an assist after intermission for the Galaxy which stunned Major League Soccer’s Western Division-leading Kansas City Wizards 5-1 before 10,503 this afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
"Mauricio today got two great goals off two good passes and probably could have had two more," said Los Angeles coach Sigi Schmid.
Also getting a goal and two assists from forward Luis Hernandez, second-place Los Angeles (11-7-7, 40 points) pulled to within four points of the Wizards (13-6-5) in the West.
"It was important for several reasons," said Galaxy defender Robin Fraser. "One, we are trying to get closer to Kansas City and if we can make them lose points while we gain them that is a good thing. Also, we need to try and separate ourselves from Colorado. We have put the pressure them (Colorado) and we have take one step farther to reaching our goals."
Victorine started the assault on K.C. goalkeeper Tony Meola in the 21st minute. Midfielder Simon Elliott set up the scoring play with a beautiful through-ball that caught the Wizards flat-footed. Victorine slipped between two defenders to put away his second goal of the year for the 1-0 advantage.
The remaining five goals were scored in a 13-minute span of the second half.
Defenders Greg Vanney and Paul Caligiuri set up Cienfuegos' first goal in the 70th minute, sending the ball to the unmarked midfielder at the top of the penalty arc. Given space and time, Cienfuegos teed up a vicious shot that found the upper corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Caligiuri made it 3-0 three minutes later, finishing off a tricky Hernandez back-heel pass inside the near post.
Kansas City midfielder Mo Johnston put the Wizards on the board in the 75th minute, catching goalkeeper Matt Reis off his line with a flashing header. Defender Matt McKeon sent Johnston the ball from the opposite flank, and Johnston redirected the ball over the shoulder of a charging Reis.
"We got outplayed today," said K.C. defender Brandon Prideaux. "Fortunately, we get to play them again on Saturday. We hope it's just a bump in the road. We're in first place, so it should be."
The Wizards' rally was short-lived, however, as Cienfuegos added another Galaxy goal in the 78th minute. Hernandez started the play deep inside the Kansas City penalty area, dancing around rookie defender Nick Garcia to sent a ball across the box. Cienfuegos caught the ball in full stride, volleying a rocket past Meola for a 4-1 bulge.
I am happy for the victory because it was at the right moment and the team needed to win," Cienfuegos said. "We have another game against Kansas City and it is good momentum to catch up to Kansas City. It is very positive for the team this win."
Hernandez created a goal for himself in the 83rd minute, running into space to find a nicely-timed Elliott pass and beating Meola for his third goal of the season.
"It is getting better. The combination between Hernandez and Caligiuri on the one goal was big time," Schmid said. "Our team knows him better and he knows our team better and I think that is an important aspect of it."
The two teams square off again next Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., a match that will be televised by ESPN2 at 10:00 p.m. (ET).
"I thought that today we came out and played well except for about 15 minutes of the start of the second half," Schmid said. "Outside of that I thought we were very good. I don't think 5-1 is indicative of the difference between these two teams. I know they are going to come out smarting from this and come out after us next week. Hopefully, we can repeat and win again."
Los Angeles Galaxy 5, Kansas City Wizards 1Lineups: Kansas City - Tony Meola, Nick Garcia, Peter Vermes, Brandon Prideaux, Chris Klein (Gary Glasgow 46, Vicente Figueroa 72), Chris Henderson, Matt McKeon, Kerry Zavagnin (Francisco Gomez 78), Preki, Mo Johnston, Miklos Molnar. Los Angeles - Matt Reis, Robin Fraser, Greg Vanney, Danny Califf, Ezra Hendrickson, Simon Elliott, Cobi Jones (Paul Caligiuri 46), Mauricio Cienfuegos, Peter Vagenas (Jorge Salcedo 84), Sasha Victorine, Luis Hernandez (Sebastien Vorbe 87).
Total shots: Kansas City 24 (Johnston 5, Preki 5), Los Angeles 20 (Cienfuegos 7). Shots on goal: Kansas City 4 (Johnston 2), Los Angeles 6 (Cienfuegos 3). Saves: Kansas City - Meola 1; Los Angeles - Reis 3. Fouls: Kansas City 8 (Johnston 2, Garcia 2), Los Angeles 15 (Hendrickson 4, Victorine 4). Offside: Kansas City 3, Los Angeles 4. Corner kicks: Kansas City 9, Los Angeles 1. Yellow card cautions: Kansas City - Johnston 82. Possession percentage: Kansas City 50, Los Angeles 50.
Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela. Referee's assistants: Tom Bobadilla, Francisco Sanchez. Attendance: 10,503 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Weather: Sunny, 101 degrees, humid.