The match got off to a cumbersome start, with the pressure of the points at stake was on display in the physical play of both squads who chased every ball. Following a foul at midfield in the 20th minute, Craig Roscastle and Paulo Nagamura had to be separated by teammates. In spite of all the hustle, though, there were few clear offensive opportunities for either side.
In the 23rd minute, Michael Lahoud was on the receiving end of a deftly weighted pass from Alan Gordon in the penalty area, leaving Jimmy Nielsen marooned, but Lahoud's flick went wide left of the goal. On the play, Lahoud failed to see Justin Braun running free to the far post with his arms raised.
Kansas City combined well on their passing through the first three-quarters of the pitch, but lacked the clarity needed to find Birahim Diop up front. Ryan Smith and Roger Smith combined well down the left flank, but opportunities fizzled out as the Wizards settled for long-range shots at Zach Thorton’s goal. At the half, four of the Wizards' five shots came from outside the penalty area.
In the 29th minute, Rocastle and Nagamura had to be separated again as Nagamura continued to harry Rocastle with fouls off of the ball. Rocastle then went after Mariano Trujillo, and at the end of the half, shoved teammates out of his way as he stormed into the tunnel.
Through the first half, neither squad managed a shot on goal, and both Martin Vasquez and Peter Vermes had their benchs warming up.
There were no changes at halftime for either squad, due to the parity of the play in the first half.
In the 52nd minute, a Ben Zemanski goal was nullified by Kevin Stott due to an inadvertent hand ball in the area in the run-up to the goal.
In the 56th minute, Vermes inserted Teal Bunbury in favor of Diop as the squad had still not managed a shot on goal. The substitution almost paid off for Kansas City immediately as Bunbury nearly beat Michael Umaña to a dangerous Roger Espinoza ball that was ultimately cleared at the last second by Umaña.
Minutes later, Vasquez countered with Sal Zizzo coming on for Zemanski and Jonathan Bornstein for Rodolfo Espinoza as both squads opted for more speed as the game wore on. Vermes then inserted with Jack Jewsbury to replace the volatile Rocastle.
In the 70th minute, Kei Kamara scored a Goal of the Week nominee after receiving a lofted Michael Harrington pass in the penalty area with his head, passing it to himself, and volleying the ball into the back of the net.
In the 83rd minute, Teal Bunbury finally got the better of Umaña as a perfect ball from Kamara behind the Goats defense left Bunbury in a one-on-one situation with Thornton. The goal was Bunbury’s third of the season and likely the one that ends any dreams the Goats had of making the postseason and keeps the Wizards' hopes alive.
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