for this game

Stunning comeback lifts Wizards over Crew

Sep 16, 2007 - 3:38 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) - The Kansas City Wizards scored a pair of goals in stoppage time to earn a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Eddie Johnson pushed a penalty kick past Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer and Scott Sealy followed one minute later with his second goal of the night to clinch the match.

Columbus looked to be in good shape when forward Andy Herron redirected a shot to break a 1-1 tie in the 67th minute. Eddie Gaven's corner kick was directed toward the goal by Marcos Gonzalez. Herron used a right-footed touch to push the ball into the lower right corner past Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for a 2-1 advantage.

"We reacted horrendously to the (first) goal that we gave up," Hartman said. "For a team that likes to push and move up, I thought we were back on our heels a bit. It was kind of how the game worked out that there were two goals that quick."

"We don't want to squander a 1-0 lead," Wizards coach Curt Onalfo said. "We want to put the nail in the coffin and get the second goal. We'll learn from it. We've learned and responded from it all year."

Herron had entered the game as a substitute two minutes earlier, just seconds before the Crew tied the game when Alejandro Moreno put back a rebound.

"I'm happy to know that the coaches trust me," Herron said. "They told me to get in there and do what you know to do. We scored two goals and it changed things up. It's hard to talk about now because we fought them so hard and they took it away from us like it was nothing."

The momentum carried for another 23 minutes, as Columbus held off the Kansas City attack through the end of regular time, but Stefani Miglioranzi was whistled for a controversial foul inside the penalty area, leaving Johnson with a chance to tie the game.

"I have just one thing to say," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "Talk to the referees. I don't want to take anything away from Kansas City, but they got a huge boost."

"It was a huge game. We got three points, and that's all I care about right now," Onalfo said.

Johnson's shot went off the left post and dribbled past Hesmer to knot the contest at 2-2. It was Johnson's 15th score of the season and the first penalty kick that Hesmer had allowed past all season.

"I faked him out," Johnson said. "I almost faked myself out. You pick one way and you stick with it. Even if you think the keeper knows where it's going to go, you put it there and put some pace on it."

Sealy followed shortly thereafter with the go-ahead score, assisted by Johnson and Eloy Colombano.

"It happened really quickly," Sealy said. "We had a play and it was a beautiful cross. I knew I was inside the post and I knew as soon as I hit it that it was in."

Both teams entered the game on a downward trend, having combined for just one victory in their last 12 games. The Crew (6-9-10) were 0-3-3 since the end of July while the Wizards (10-9-6) registered a 1-4-1 mark over the same period.

Columbus fell two points behind the Chicago Fire (8-10-6) in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot. Chicago played to a 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls in Chicago on Saturday.

Kansas City gained three points and stayed in seventh place overall.

"(The victory) was very important because Columbus is a team that's trying to catch us," Hartman said. "This is a team that's going to get us in the playoffs or knock us out. I thought the three points for us tonight was huge, it puts us in a great position, and it put Columbus on the outside looking in at this point."

Sealy opened the scoring by lifting a right footer from 26 yards out to beat Hesmer to the near post in the 31st minute.

Sealy's blast over the top of the defensive line followed a restart when Johnson was fouled by Ezra Hendrickson.

"I thought that Will Hesmer did a fairly decent job," Onalfo said. "Scotty (Sealy) came on and played brilliantly for us and got two great goals. It really was the difference for us tonight."

The Crew played without two starters as defender Frankie Hejduk and forward Guillermo Barros Schelotto were on suspension for yellow card accumulation.