Galaxy, Wizards remain unbeaten after 0-0 draw.
PASADENA, Calif. (Saturday, May 6, 2000) -- The battle of Major League Soccer’s two undefeated teams produced no goals tonight and settled nothing, leaving both teams still undefeated, if not appearing slightly less invincible.
With temporary bragging rights to Major League Soccer superiority on the line, the Kansas City Wizards and Los Angeles Galaxy played to an anticlimactic 0-0 draw before 17,098 at the Rose Bowl.
"I thought defensively, obviously, Kansas City was very tough," said Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid. They probably were packed in the back a little bit more than most teams we’ve played this year, so we have to become a little better at getting through that. But even the, I thought we had four or five really clean chances."
On the bright side, if the two teams continue to play to form, there could be great anticipation for "Battle of the Unbeatens II" when the Galaxy plays in Kansas City June 24.
"I thought we were very much their equal," Kansas City coach Bob Gansler said. "We thought the game could be won early, in the middle or late. We came here to get three points, so it was not a matter of sitting back. We were going forward and creating opportunities."
Actually the result wasn’t that surprising. Even though both sides sport potent attacks, K.C. (four goals, .44 goals-against average) and L.A. (six, .67) maintain the two stingiest defenses in the league. Kansas City has permitted only one goal in its last seven outing.
"You got two of the best defensive teams in he league and you saw why tonight," said L.A. defensive midfielder Danny Pena. "Neither team gave an inch in the back."
Goalkeepers Tony Meola of the Wizards and L.A.’s Kevin Hartman matched clean sheets. Meola leads the league with six shutouts on the year, while Hartman has registered three scoreless games. Meola was tested more often during the match, turning away eight shots and stretched his current streak to 345 minutes without allowing a tally. He holds the MLS record of 414 minutes, set in 1996 when he was with he MetroStars.
"It was a great result against that team in their place," said Meola, who holds the league career best with 27 shutouts. "We weathered the early storm and did what we had to do. It panned out to be a typical road game."
Hartman was only called to stop one shot and hasn’t seen his net violated in 297 minutes.
Kansas City’s only shot was a 19-yarder by midfielder Mo Johnston, handled easily by Hartman in the 38th minute. The Wizards could not muster a shot in the second half or during the 10 minutes of overtime.
Los Angeles, which forced 11 corner kicks to only a pair of the Wizards, provided the best scoring opportunity in the 75th minute after striker Cobi Jones sent a left-side cross into the penalty area. Midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos headed a square pass to forward Roy Myers, who collected the ball with a chest trap before blasting a side volley toward the top left corner. Meola went horizantal to push the shot wide..
Prior to the match, Gansler commented: "There will not be that many opportunities. It'll be a spirited game but it won't be a 5-4 shootout."
The Wizards' lone shot on frame was registered by midfielder Mo Johnston, who has managed seven shots on goal in eight games this season. Galaxy defender Zak Ibsen, who has registered 25 shots on goal in three seasons, led all players with two this evening.
Kansas City was without team scoring leader Miklos Molnar (five goals), who remained home with an ankle injury.
The Wizards (7-0-2, 23 points) held onto first place in the Western Division, two points ahead of the Galaxy (6-0-3, 21).
Los Angeles Galaxy 0, Kansas City Wizards 0 (OT)Lineups: Los Angeles - Kevin Hartman, Greg Vanney, Robin Fraser, Zak Ibsen, Joe Franchino, Danny Pena, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Simon Elliott, Roy Myers (Sasha Victorine 91), Cobi Jones, Clint Mathis. Kansas City - Tony Meola, Nick Garcia, Brandon Prideaux, Peter Vermes, Matt McKeon, Preki (Gary Glasgow 82), Kerry Zavagnin, Chris Klein, Chris Henderson, Alex Bunbury (Chris Brown 77), Mo Johnston.
Total shots: Los Angeles 16 (Jones 3, Ibsen 3), Kansas City 10 (Johnston 3). Shots on goal: Los Angeles 8 (Ibsen 2), Kansas City 1 (Johnston 1). Saves: Los Angeles - Hartman - 1; Kansas City - Meola 8. Fouls: Los Angeles 18 (Myers 4), Kansas City 14 (Henderson 4). Offside: Los Angeles 1, Kansas City 2. Corner kicks: Los Angeles 11, Kansas City 2. Yellow card caution: Kansas City - Garcia 80. Possession percentage: Los Angeles 51, Kansas City 49
Referee: Tae Young Kim. Referee's assistants: Tom Bobadilla, Jorge Reyes. Attendance: 17,098 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees.