Kamara's goal gives Dynamo 1-0 win over WizardsJul 5, 2009 - 4:38 AM By STEVE BRISENDINE STATS MLS Correspondent
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (STATS) - Kei Kamara turned his game-winning goal into a tribute to the late King of Pop.
Kamara donned a glove and did a Michael Jackson-style dance after scoring in the first half of the Houston Dynamo's 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night.
"It was just something I had in my pocket," said Kamara, who scored on Mike Chabala's first career assist. "Soccer's fun. It's kind of disappointing to see that Michael's gone, but the only thing I could do was celebrate the moment. I used to dance like Michael when I was a little kid back in Africa, in talent shows. So I had to bring that one out."
Houston's Pat Onstad made three saves for his eighth shutout of the year, giving him the MLS lead over Chivas USA's Zach Thornton.
The Dynamo (9-3-4), who extended their Western Conference lead to four points over Chivas, broke a two-match winless streak.
Kansas City (5-6-4) controlled the run of play early, with three clear scoring opportunities in the first 11 minutes, before Houston scored on a counterattack in the 18th.
Corey Ashe sent a long pass down the left side to Chabala, whose left-footed cross found Kamara in front of the net. Kamara outjumped central defender Rauwshan McKenzie and headed the ball home from just inside the 6-yard box.
"In pregame, Dom (coach Dominic Kinnear) gave me the green light," Chabala said. "He told me to get forward, get around them and give Cory an option. Cory played a perfect ball to me, nice and easy, like we do in training every Thursday. I put a good ball across, and Kei did the rest of the work."
McKenzie, making his first MLS start, was filling in for U.S. national team defender Jimmy Conrad. Conrad was called up to the Gold Cup squad but is out with a hamstring injury that he aggravated in Sunday's 3-1 SuperLiga loss to Mexican side Santos Laguna.
"I'm sure they were saying, 'Hey, this is his first start. Let's go after him. He's going to be nervous,'" said McKenzie, who recovered to play a mostly solid game in central defense. "It comes with the job. I don't mind it."
That was a key part of Houston's strategy, Chabala said.
"We definitely wanted to go at both the center backs and make it hard for them," he said. "It was one of their guys' first game, and we just wanted to give them a handful."
The Wizards had two late chances to equalize, but couldn't convert either of them.
In the 83rd minute, Josh Wolff's header hit the ground and bounced off the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced around in front of the goal, but Abe Thompson's attempt to put back the rebound went wide.
Claudio Lopez's free kick from just outside the penalty area, in the closing seconds of stoppage time, also missed by inches.
"When you make adjustments and you have two clear chances, you figure you bury one and walk away with a point," Wizards coach Curt Onalfo said.
KANSAS CITY 0 FINAL
Jul 4 11:06 PM
KANSAS CITY 0 HALFTIME
Jul 4 9:53 PM
- MLS UPDATE
KANSAS CITY 0
HOUSTON GOAL: Kei Kamara in the 18th minute
Dynamo 1, Sporting Kansas City 0 1st - 18'Jul 4 9:29 PM
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