FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Kansas City Wizards claimed their first win since June 13 after defeating the New England Revolution 4-2 at Gillette Stadium.
Claudio Lopez handed the Wizards a perfect start by snapping a 426-minute goal drought after three minutes. Shalrie Joseph compounded the Revolution's problems after he was sent off for a tackle on Jack Jewsbury after 23 minutes. A Jay Heaps own goal doubled the deficit six minutes later, but Edgaras Jankauskas handed the Revs a lifeline in the 64th minute.
Josh Wolff added the Wizards' third in the 73rd minute, but Kheli Dube's header ensured the match would enter the late stages still finely in the balance. Wolff's second goal in second-half stoppage time ensured the Wizards would hold on to snap a seven-match winless streak and give interim head coach Peter Vermes his first victory.
New England coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the side that beat San Jose 2-1 last Saturday. Brad Knighton made his sixth start of the season in place of the injured Matt Reis (knee), while Edgaras Jankauskas (adductor) returned after a two-game layoff to replace Kheli Dube up top. Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi had to settle for a place on the bench with Mauricio Castro and Wells Thompson preferred in the wide areas as the Revs went in search of a fourth-straight win.
Former Revolution forward Adam Cristman came down with an illness, forcing Kansas City interim boss Peter Vermes into one change from the side that lost 1-0 to Real Salt Lake last Saturday. Josh Wolff returned to the lineup after a one-match absence with Zoltan making do with a spot on the bench. Wolff partnered with Davy Arnaud as the Wizards sought to break a scoreless duck of 424 minutes heading into the contest.
Lopez ensured that duck wouldn't extend past the third minute as he handed the Wizards a surprising early lead. Darrius Barnes couldn't deal with a longball up field, chesting the ball down and allowing Josh Wolff to surge into the right side of the penalty area. Wolff's attempted feed deflected on the way over to the open Lopez on the left side, but the Argentine veteran still managed to collect and tuck home past Knighton.
Both teams enjoyed plenty of space in the early stages with neither side really in closing down the other. Kansas City continued to threaten with Davy Arnaud flashing just over the bar after 11 minutes after running onto Josh Wolff's knockdown of a direct ball from the back, while Edgaras Jankauskas saw his effort blocked by the onrushing Kevin Hartman.
New England went down to ten men after 23 minutes after Shalrie Joseph saw red for a challenge on Jack Jewsbury. Replays didn't show much contact between the two players as Joseph went in for a bouncing ball with his studs exposed, but referee Jasen Anno saw fit to issue his eighth red card in 11 career MLS matches and send Joseph from the field.
The active Josh Wolff did all of the work to create Kansas City's second on 29 minutes. Wolff's powerful run sliced open the Revs defense and carried him to the byline. Wolff then played a square ball across the face. Emmanuel Osei whiffed at the first attempt, allowing the cross to bounce off Jay Heaps and deflect into the Revolution net to double the lead.
Nicol sent on Pat Phelan in place of Mauricio Castro as the Revs sought to limit the available midfield space in Joseph's absence, allowing the Revs to get to halftime down only a pair.
New England had to press forward in search of goals in the second stanza and looked considerably brighter after the interval. Kevin Alston flashed a left-footed drive just wide of the far post as the Revs started to test the Wizards' backline.
Jankauskas pulled one back for the Revs in stunning fashion after 64 minutes. After a scrum in the Wizards' penalty area, Matt Besler didn't get enough purchase on his clearing header. Jankauskas reacted first and lashed home to the far post with a sumptuous side-volley to give the Revs life with plenty of time still to play.
Knighton made sure the Revs stayed alive five minutes later by coming out bravely to deny Lopez again after a defensive miscue allowed Lopez free reign on goal.
Lopez's jailbreak foreshadowed the Wizards' third goal four minutes later. The Argentine was played in down the right wing on the counterattack and eventually played a ball into the path of Wolff's near-post run. Knighton came out and should have claimed it, but the ball skittered loose and Wolff directed it into the open net to restore the two-goal cushion.
Revolution substitutes Kheli Dube and Sainey Nyassi connected to hand the Revs a lifeline with nine minutes to play. Dube headed home Nyassi's inch-perfect cross from the right wing at the near post to place the result in doubt heading into the waning moments.
Wolff put the match beyond doubt in the second minute of stoppage time after he converted Chance Myers' cross.
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com