for this game

Wolff rallies Wizards to tie with Fire

Apr 19, 2009 - 4:30 AM By Nicolino DeBenedetto Stats Writer

BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (AP) -- The last time Josh Wolff scored two goals in a game, it engineered a comeback on the road against his former club almost four years ago.

The speedy forward did that again Saturday night, as he scored two late second-half goals to help the Kansas City Wizards rally to a surprising 2-2 tie against the Chicago Fire.

Wolff, who played for the Fire from 1998-2002, scored twice in Kansas City's 3-2 comeback win at Chicago on Aug. 10, 2005.

He found the back of the net with a minute left in regulation Saturday, knocking in a pass from Michael Harrington at the back post. That came after Wolff outran Fire defender Gonzalo Segares and converted a cross from Claudio Lopez at the same spot of the field in the 78th minute.

Wolff's goals were his first two of the season and salvaged a point for Kansas City (2-2-1), which generated one shot in the first half before getting seven - five on goal - in the second.

"It was pretty bad. It was horrendous," Wolff said of the Wizards' first-half performance. "(Wizards coach Curt Onalfo) got into us, and rightfully so. Once you get one, you really believe you can get the second one, and once we did that we nearly got a third."

The Wizards, 2-0-1 in their last three games, also got an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who made a season-high six saves with four coming in the second half.

One of Hartman's key stops came in the 72nd minute when Fire midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco volleyed a powerful shot that the netminder blocked.

"Huge saves to keep us in the game," Onalfo said. "Sometimes saves like that inspire a team to find a way."

Despite a strong second-half performance, Hartman's error in the first half led to Chicago's first goal in the 13th minute. He came out of his net to punch a cross, but collided with a teammate.

The ball fell to the Fire's Wilman Conde, who laid off a pass that Brian McBride shot into the lower right corner past a scrambling Hartman.

The former U.S. national team star scored again seven minutes later to give the Fire (2-0-3) a two-goal lead.

McBride has a team-high four goals.

Chicago extended its season-opening unbeaten streak to a franchise record five games, but coach Denis Hamlett had other concerns.

"We needed to be better closing out the game," Hamlett said. "For 75 minutes, we had control of the game. We then got caught up in the last 15 minutes in an open game, trying to get that third goal."

Blanco, who assisted on McBride's second goal, made his first start of the season and played 83 minutes after being limited to 76 off the bench in three games due to recovery from a knee injury.

"He's getting his form back," Hamlett said. "It was good for him to get out there and play in a competitive game from the get go."

The Mexican playmaker has a goal and two assists this season.