for this game

Conrad's late goal lifts Wizards past FC Dallas

Sep 20, 2009 - 4:00 AM By STEVE BRISENDINE STATS MLS Correspondent

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (STATS) - The redemption of Jimmy Conrad was not a pretty thing: An awkward sprawl - a crawl, really - on the grass of Community America Ballpark.

Think he minded?

Not after his 80th-minute header atoned for two earlier defensive mistakes and gave the Kansas City Wizards their first home victory since mid-June.

"I was doing the army crawl before it went in, just to make sure I didn't miss it," Conrad said after scoring the game-winner in Saturday night's 3-2 win over FC Dallas. "I think if you look in the dictionary for the sequence from goat to hero, that's pretty much me right now."

Conrad's goal capped a late flurry for Kansas City (8-11-6), which trailed 2-1 after 75 minutes. Josh Wolff tied it in the 77th and Conrad's goal three minutes later gave the Wizards their first home victory since a 3-1 win over New England on June 12. Dallas (7-12-6) has won just once in its last five games.

"You lose focus," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said of his team's late collapse "You're holding on, you get tight, and a team gets belief to get momentum."

Santiago Hirsig scored his first MLS goal in the ninth minute - and Kansas City's first at home since a 1-all draw against Los Angeles on July 25 - putting the Wizards up 1-0 with a header off Claudio Lopez's corner kick. The lead didn't hold, as Dallas' Dax McCarty and Jeff Cunningham each turned a mistake by Conrad into a goal.

McCarty scored in the 44th minute picking off Conrad's errant pass 25 yards from goal, making a short run and firing a low shot past Kevin Hartman from 20 yards.

In the 54th minute, David Ferreira stripped Conrad of the ball and drew Hartman to his right before slotting a pass to a wide-open Cunningham making a run up the middle.

"We had to win this game for our season to continue," Conrad said. "So I had the weight of the world on my shoulders there for a little while. There were no defensive mistakes tonight. There were just the two mistakes by me that led to two goals.

"It's easy to brush it off now, but we still have video to watch," he added with a laugh. "That's Tuesday. I can't wait for that."

Wolff, who has four goals in Kansas City's last four games and 10 this season - matching his career high from 1999, 2004 and 2005 - deflected second-half sub Zoltan Hercegfalvi's shot just inside the post to make it 2-2. Not long after that, Conrad took advantage of a mistake by Dallas' back line.

George John tried to head Lopez's corner kick away from the goal, but instead sent it looping toward Dallas keeper Dario Sala. Sala barely kept the ball from going in for an own goal, but it fell right in front of Conrad.

"We didn't have any breaks on our side," Sala said. "We've been suffering the whole year."