Jose Burciaga

Wizards out of Champions' Cup

on almost the final kick of the game -- Gerald Drummond turned home a rebound from close range after Kansas City 'keeper Bo Oshoniyi had parried a powerful drive from Pablo Brenes.

Then six minutes into extra time, Ronald Gomez flicked a bouncing ball over his head into the Wizards penalty area where Drummond beat the on-rushing Oshoniyi and looped the ball into goal.

Saprissa dominated the match, the Wizards unable to muster a single attempt at goal in the opening 45 minutes. But their defense held firm as Oshoniyi was really tested only once, able to block a firm angled drive from Gomez.

The breakthrough finally came after Kerry Zavagnin was clipped some 25 yards straight out from goal. Burciaga's powerful swerving drive fooled Saprissa goalkeeper José Francisco Porras and sailed into the back of the net.

Just when it seemed the MLS side would escape Costa Rica with a remarkable result against that country's 23-time champion and the runner-up in last year's Champions' Cup, a long ball was played into a crowded Wizards penalty area. Nick Garcia's headed clearance was pounced on by former MetroStars midfielder Brenes, and his fierce blast was barely kept out by Oshoniyi. It fell into the heart of the goal area where Drummond was on hand to give it the final push over the line. After Drummond's second goal put Saprissa ahead on the night and on aggregate, Alonso Solis nearly doubled the lead with a dipping blast that rattled the woodwork.

That left the Wizards alive to pull level and they nearly did. Davy Arnaud was left all alone in front of goal but just headed an Alex Zotinca cross past the post, then Chris Klein hammered a long-range blast that beat Porras, only for it to come down off the underside of the crossbar and bound away to safety.

"It was an awfully good performance for so early in the season. We did pretty much what we felt we needed to do in terms of not sitting back and sucking up the pressure, but going at them as well. I think our guys put on a tremendous performance for so early in the season," said Wizards head coach Bob Gansler. "As I told after the game, they have every right to be proud of the 120 minutes and we will build on this."

Saprissa advances to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup where they will face CF Monterrey of Mexico, while D.C. United of MLS and Mexico's Pumas UNAM will play in the other semifinal series.

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