Quakes inch closer to playoff berth
the Quakes have scored just three goals in their last eight games -- San Jose heads to Dallas next weekend needing at least a draw to clinch fourth place in the Western Conference.
The Wizards could have sewn up the top seed in the Western Conference and home-field advantage throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs, but after the Galaxy victory, those two teams will now play at Arrowhead Stadium next Saturday, the Wizards needing at least a point to guarantee first place.
While Wizards 'keeper Bo Oshoniyi was certainly vital in his role in keeping the Earthquakes at bay on Saturday, his right-hand post and midfielder Diego Gutierrez also left the home side holding their heads in their hands rueing their poor fortune.
Both teams were missing key performers to World Cup qualifying duty -- San Jose without starting goalkeeper Pat Onstad and forward Dwayne De Rosario (Canada) and star Landon Donovan (USA), while the Wizards were without Kerry Zavagnin and Josh Wolff, also with the USA.
After a nervous start to the match, San Jose began to take control midway through the first half. In the 25th minute, after a corner kick was deflected in the area, Brian Mullan tried to redirect a shot inside the far post, but couldn't get full force behind the effort and Oshoniyi was able to turn it aside.
Five minutes later, Oshoniyi reacted well to turn aside a blast from Todd Dunivant aimed inside his right-hand post, and from the ensuing corner, Ryan Cochrane sent a well-placed header toward goal, only for Gutierrez to clear it off his goal line and maintain the tie.
The Wizards maintained their organization and discipline on the tight confines of the Spartan Stadium field, frustrating the home side. But San Jose had another tremendous opportunity to break the tie in the 82nd minute.
Richard Mulrooney collected a pass outside the area and took a shot that Oshoniyi seemed not to expect. But the Wizards goalkeeper was able to dive low and to his left, turning the effort off the left-hand post before slipping outside of the goal.
Then four minutes later, the woodwork once again came to the rescue of Oshoniyi from the boot of Ramiro Corrales, but that was all the help he needed on the night.
The Earthquakes travel to Dallas to face the Burn at the Cotton Bowl next Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET), the postseason hopes for both teams on the line, with San Jose needing only to draw to qualify. Kansas City plays host to the Los Angeles Galaxy on the same evening (8:30 p.m. ET), needing a point to ensure the top seed in the West, but also knowing that a victory and a Columbus loss in Colorado would win the Wizards the Supporters Shield.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Bo Oshoniyi (Kansas City Wizards)
Kansas City Wizards (13-9-6) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (9-10-9)
October 09, 2004 -- Spartan Stadium
Scoring Summary: NONE
Kansas City Wizards -- Bo Oshoniyi, Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, Taylor Graham (Khari Stephenson 57), Jose Burciaga Jr., Alex Zotinca, Francisco Gomez (Matt Taylor 75), Diego Gutierrez, Jack Jewsbury, Igor Simutenkov (Shavar Thomas 89), Davy Arnaud.
Substitutes Not Used: Will Hesmer, Diego Walsh.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Davy Arnaud 3, Igor Simutenkov 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Davy Arnaud 2); FOULS: 19 (Davy Arnaud 4, Jimmy Conrad 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Davy Arnaud 1, Alex Zotinca 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Jose Burciaga Jr. 1, Igor Simutenkov 1); SAVES: 8 (Bo Oshoniyi 7)
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Conway, Wes Hart, Ryan Cochrane, Craig Waibel, Todd Dunivant, Brian Mullan, Ramiro Corrales, Ronnie Ekelund (Arturo Alvarez 79), Richard Mulrooney, Ian Russell (Jamil Walker 66), Brian Ching.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Brown, Steve Cronin, Tighe Dombrowski, Roger Levesque.
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Ramiro Corrales 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Ryan Cochrane 2, Brian Mullan 2); FOULS: 18 (Brian Mullan 5); OFFSIDES: 1 (Ryan Cochrane 1); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Richard Mulrooney 10); SAVES: 3 (Jon Conway 3)
KC -- Diego Gutierrez (caution; Reckless Foul) 22
SJ -- Ronnie Ekelund (caution; Reckless Foul) 28
SJ -- Brian Ching (caution; Tackle from Behind) 38
KC -- Davy Arnaud (caution; Tackle from Behind) 87
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: -Kermit Quisenberry; Kenneth Kaplan
4th Official: Terry Vaughn
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.