for this game

Three second-half goals help Wizards douse Fire

Aug 23, 2007 - 3:31 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The Kansas City Wizards' scoring drought ended not a moment too soon.

The Wizards snapped a streak of 234 scoreless minutes with three second-half goals as they defeated the Chicago Fire, 3-2, on Wednesday night.

After the Fire took a 1-0 lead into intermission, Sasha Victorine got the equalizer in the 54th minute after taking Jose Burciaga Jr.'s long pass into the left side of the penalty area. It was the Wizards' first goal since July 29.

"Jose played a great ball on the ground in back of the defense," Victorine said. "I was able to take it right in stride, and that made scoring a lot easier."

"Victorine got a great gift in front of him," Chicago coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "They made their first goal out of nothing."

Scott Sealy's shot from 20 feet out in the 68th minute gave Kansas City (9-7-5) a 2-1 lead. Sealy took a crossing pass from Burciaga in the left side of the penalty area and dribbled past defender Dasan Robinson before drilling a right-footer past Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch.

"Those first two goals were huge," Burciaga said. "We played as a team and we played with heart. (Wizards coach Curt Onalfo) said, 'When you play with heart, good things will happen.' That stuck with me."

"It feels really good, especially after that first chance," Sealy said, referring to a missed opportunity in front of the net in the first half. "Tonight, we were able to get three points, but we still have to roll up our sleeves and go to work and play better than we did tonight."

Burciaga later added a much-needed insurance goal for Kansas City when he took a deflected pass from Eddie Johnson in front of the net and chipped it in from 15 feet in the 82nd minute.

"It speaks to the heart of this team, the way we came back," Onalfo said. "It was not 90 minutes of perfect soccer, but it was 90 minutes of heart. Now we have to play with 90 minutes of intelligence. We have to play with smarts and not give the goal away."

Robinson closed the gap to 3-2 with his first goal of the season when he converted a rebound past Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman from 20 feet out in the 83rd minute.

"It was two different halves, but we had enough chances to win," Osorio said. "I don't fault the effort of my players. We should win when we are ahead. I know my players were very frustrated, but we didn't lose for lack of effort. We had some great chances toward the end, but I think our finishing touch wasn't good enough."

Chad Barrett gave the Fire a 1-0 lead in extra time in the first half when he took a long pass from Cuauhtemoc Blanco and put a left-footer past Hartman in the 46th minute. Blanco has scored or assisted on four of the seven goals by Chicago (6-9-5) since he joined the club on July 29.

"He has such great vision," Fire midfielder Justin Mapp said. "It's just what we've needed, a passer who can find people."

"It was a well-deserved goal," Osorio said. "We created enough to be up 2-0, but there wasn't enough clinical execution around the goal."

Victorine's goal snapped Chicago's shutout streak at 323 minutes, dating back to a 4-0 loss against Houston on July 21.

"It's always hard getting the first one," Victorine said. "It opens up the game and gives guys a chance to run into open space. The defense has to come out and play you more."

"When we scored early in the second half, it changed the nature of the game," Onalfo said. "To come back from a goal deficit showed our character and perseverance."

Kansas City played without midfielder Carlos Marinelli, who was serving a one-game suspension due to yellow card accumulation.

The Wizards and Fire meet again on Saturday in Chicago.

"We have to be smart, and we have to regenerate quickly," Onalfo said. "We'll start using the depth on our bench."