for this game

Toronto FC, Wizards battle to draw

Jun 21, 2008 - 11:20 PM By Bart van Veghel PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

TORONTO (Ticker) -- Toronto FC remained unbeaten at home Saturday, battling to a 0-0 draw against Kansas City Wizards.

Toronto improved to 5-0-3 at home. Real Salt Lake is the only other unbeaten team at home.

Kansas City striker Scott Sealy had an early chance in the 12th minute when he connected on Jack Jewsbury's cross, sending a header right over the bar.

Two Kansas City players were cautioned in the first half, as Jewsbury in the fifth minute and Kerry Zavagnin in the 22nd minute were booked for reckless fouls. Kansas City's Kurt Morsink also received a booking in the 69th minute for the same offense. Midfielder Espinoza was sent off in the 90th minute for a punch to the head of Toronto's captain Carl Robinson.

Despite the lack of goals the game wasn't without its moments, as in the 50th minute Toronto had a free kick on the edge of the18-yard box, only to have Laurent Robert's left-foot blast blocked by the Wizards wall.

One of the best chances of the second half came in the 62nd minute when Toronto striker Amado Guevara was put in alone, ripping a shot from the penalty spot that was just tipped over the bar by the Wizards All-Star goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

"Guevara had a huge impact on the game last time, so we were glad to shut him down," Hartman said. "I thought the guys put in a great effort today and to be honest, we were embarrassed with our effort against Columbus last week. I think the guys came into a tough place to play and did well showing a lot of character and heart."

Kansas City's best chance came in the 72nd minute when Midfielder Sasha Victorine curled a ball over Toronto's goalkeeper Brian Edwards, only to have the ball cleared away from in front of the open net by defender Marvell Wynne.

Toronto thought it had won the game in the 90th minute on a sliding volley from striker Danny Dichio, only to have the goal called back by referee Michael Kennedy for an offside.

"I thought it was close. I tried to gamble a little bit," Dichio said. "The linesman said it was half a foot offside, and I guess I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He's the man with the flag."

Both teams had full rosters, yet also sat out key starters for undisclosed reasons. Kansas City setup man Carlos Marinelli did not play as well as Toronto goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who just returned from National team duty.

Toronto coach John Carver choose to sit regulars, Jim Brennan, Maurice Edu and striker Amado Guevara until almost the 60th minute before bringing the three on in hopes of turning the tide of the game. Carver made a point of mentioning the subs.

"It's always a gamble when you make three substitutions at the same time," Carver said. "From the three subs, you can say I've tried to go more offensively, hoping to introduce Edu to run around the back of defenders. I've tried to do everything in my power to win the game.

"I'm grateful for the point. It may be the difference between getting into that playoff spot, and it's games like this that we need to dig out results."

Kansas City Coach Curt Onalfo was pleased with this turn in the right direction for his team.

"Overall I was pleased with the result, but disappointed we didn't get the win," Onalfo said. "We came into a tough place to play against a good home team and performed well. It is definitely a step up from our performance last week."

Toronto committed a team high for fouls in a game with 18, yet their only booking came in the 92nd minute, when midfielder Laurent Robert was cautioned for dissent.