A 59th-minute score off his own rebound by second-half substitute Jack Jewsbury was enough to get an off-form Kansas City Wizards past the visiting and inopportune San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
Despite a listless first half performance, the 1-0 win was the second in a row at home for the Wizards while sending the Earthquakes to a second defeat on their three-game road swing.
Despite being without two offensive cogs in target-forward Brian Ching and skilled winger Brian Mullan due to injury, the Earthquakes' attack gave the Wizards fits in the first 20 minutes as it created three strong chances, two within the first eight minutes.
The Wizards strongest opportunities came in the 24th minute from back-back corners resulting from a miscommunication between goalkeeper Pat Onstad and defenders Danny Califf and Chris Aloisi, but despite winning two threatening corners the threat passed with little real result.
Midfielders Dwayne De Rosario and Brad Davis, plus forward Ronald Cerritos, continued to be the main instigators as the Quakes' sustained their attacking pressure. Oshoniyi made few saves but he and his defense were kept on their toes nearly the whole half as San Jose moved the ball inside and out to facilitate a variety of attacking angles.
After a questionable foul was called on Chris Klein in the 43rd minute, Davis and De Rosario stood over a centrally positioned dead ball some 25 yards away from goal. It was the left-footed Davis who then struck a curling ball over the wall to Oshoniyi's left post. However, the Wizards netminder fell to his left and the worry faded into his arms.
Play was more even in the beginning of the second half as the Wizards picked up their urgency and pace. The needed adjustment was ready to pay off in the 55th minute as forward Scott Sealy freed Klein down the left wing. He ran at goal and the coming defender before cutting right and letting fly with a right-footed shot directly at the well-positioned Onstad who made the save at his near post.
Four minutes later, though, the Wizards broke the ice. Sealy fought off Califf in the Wizards own end and then quickly hit a defense-splitting ball to Jewsbury who ran on near the top of San Jose's box. The halftime substitute fired a blistering ball at Onstad that hit his hand and then ricocheted off his knee back to Jewsbury, who found the lower right of the net for his third goal of the season.
The momentum had swung and now it was the Wizards who had the lion's share of the ball and the chances for a brief while until the 80th minute when San Jose looked to end a night of frustration. Cerritos beat Nick Garcia to the near-post and nodded down a falling cross from the right corner that dribbled just beyond the far post.
The Wizards, having been fortunate to survive an under-whelming performance to this point, threatened to put the match away in the 90th minute as Jewsbury looked to cap off his resurrection of the game through a cutting ball to the top of the box from deep on the right side. His ball was in vain as the resulting shot was blocked.
San Jose had two late chances in the box off dead balls that saw Onstad come forward into the opposition penalty area looking for an opening, but the Wizards cleared and claimed the three points.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards)
Robert Rusert is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
San Jose Earthquakes (3-3-4) vs. Kansas City Wizards (4-2-3)
May 28, 2005 -- Arrowhead Stadium
KC -- Jack Jewsbury 3 (unassisted) 59
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Chris Aloisi, Danny Califf, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett (Wes Hart 72), Mark Chung (Ian Russell 79), Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis, Alejandro Moreno, Ronald Cerritos.
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Cochrane, Jon Conway, Danny O'Rourke.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Dwayne De Rosario 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Brad Davis 2, Dwayne De Rosario 2); FOULS: 16 (Ricardo Clark 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Dwayne De Rosario 1, Alejandro Moreno 1); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Ronald Cerritos 5); SAVES: 6 (Pat Onstad 6)
Kansas City Wizards -- Bo Oshoniyi, Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, Shavar Thomas, Jose Burciaga Jr., Chris Klein, Diego Gutierrez, Sasha Victorine, Alex Zotinca (Jack Jewsbury 46), Scott Sealy (Justin Detter 73), Davy Arnaud.
Substitutes Not Used: Dustin Branan, Martin Hutton, Ryan Pore, Preki, Ryan Raybould, Brian Roberts, Khari Stephenson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (3 tied with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Jack Jewsbury 2, Scott Sealy 2); FOULS: 23 (Chris Klein 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3 (Chris Klein 2); SAVES: 5 (Bo Oshoniyi 5)
SJ -- Eddie Robinson (caution; Dissent) 70
SJ -- Danny Califf (caution; Reckless Foul) 78
KC -- Davy Arnaud (caution; Tackle from Behind) 82
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: -Nathan Clement; Jorge De la Bandera
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Time of Game: 1:48
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.