Landon Donovan ran through, around, and by the Kansas City Wizards' defense Saturday scoring both goals in a 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes win at Arrowhead Stadium.
San Jose created most of the chances early on quickly switching the ball right and left using both wings while trying to find a kink in the Wizards' defense. However, the Quakes soon found joy driving right at the Wizards' heart.
After Wizards' midfielder Igor Simutenkov hit a shot off the left post in the 26th minute, the Quakes responded immediately through right winger Brian Mullan cutting inside to his left. He was given time to look up and subsequently delivered a cross to a racing Donovan, who split back Nick Garcia and 'keeper Tony Meola and headed the ball into the net to make it 1-0 San Jose.
Quickly re-establishing San Jose's dominance, Donovan repeatedly ran at center of the K.C. defense, often receiving a strong foul for his efforts.
In the 32nd minute, though, Donovan was able to sneak by the defense forcing Meola to use the tip of his right foot to rescue his beleaguered defense.
Mercifully for the Wizards, the first half ended without any further damage despite San Jose boasting a 10-6 advantage in shots and Donovan having been fouled four times.
Neither the first-half fouls he received nor the break failed to slow down Donovan, who received a quick pass from Brian Ching off an interception just inside the Wizards' half, shifted into high gear, and, with K.C. defender Shavar Thomas nipping at his heels, put the ball past a sliding Meola for his second of the match and sixth of the season in the 59th minute.
Constantly repelling Earthquake attacks, the Wizards' offense rarely threatened seriously in the time remaining except for another banging off the crossbar, this time by Jack Jewsbury in the 91st minute.
The Wizards will need to find the solution to stop Donovan and the Quakes soon as the two teams will meet in the Open Cup semifinal Aug. 24 in Overland Park, Kan. The Wizards are next in action against Columbus (7:30 p.m. ET, HDNet) on Wednesday, while the Earthquakes host Dallas (10 p.m. ET, Direct Kick) next Saturday.
MLSNet.com Man of the Match: Landon Donovan
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Kansas City Wizards
August 14, 2004 -- Arrowhead Stadium
SJ -- Landon Donovan 5 (Brian Mullan 6) 27
SJ -- Landon Donovan 6 (Brian Ching 4) 59
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Troy Dayak, Todd Dunivant, Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund (Tighe Dombrowski 72), Richard Mulrooney, Ramiro Corrales, Brian Ching (Ian Russell 89), Landon Donovan.
Substitutes Not Used: Arturo Alvarez, Jon Conway, Wes Hart.
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Landon Donovan 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Landon Donovan 4); FOULS: 12 (Landon Donovan 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6 (Richard Mulrooney 3); SAVES: 3 (Pat Onstad 3)
Kansas City Wizards -- Tony Meola, Jose Burciaga Jr. (Jack Jewsbury 64), Jimmy Conrad, Shavar Thomas (Justin Detter 77), Nick Garcia, Igor Simutenkov (Francisco Gomez 54), Diego Gutierrez, Kerry Zavagnin, Chris Klein, Josh Wolff, Davy Arnaud.
Substitutes Not Used: Taylor Graham, Bo Oshoniyi, Preki, Vuk Rasovic, Matt Taylor, Diego Walsh.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Francisco Gomez 3, Igor Simutenkov 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Francisco Gomez 2); FOULS: 18 (Diego Gutierrez 5); OFFSIDES: 2 (Davy Arnaud 1, Justin Detter 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Chris Klein 5); SAVES: 3 (Tony Meola 3)
KC -- Diego Gutierrez (caution; Professional Foul) 20
SJ -- Ryan Cochrane (caution; Professional Foul) 53
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: -George Gansner; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Ali Saheli
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-74-degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.