for this game

Thompson's late tally nets FC Dallas draw with Wizards

Jul 5, 2008 - 2:46 AM
By Ken Costlow PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FRISCO, Texas (Ticker) -- Abe Thompson's header one minute into stoppage time allowed FC Dallas to salvage a 1-1 draw against the Kansas City Wizards on Friday at Pizza Hut Park.

Thompson received a feed from halftime substitution Eric Avila in front of the net and headed his shot past Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman in the 91st minute. Avila, who was credited with his first career assist, had taken a short ball from Marcelo Saragosa before delivering the cross in front to Thompson.

"I checked back to receive the ball fairly deep and saw Celo (Saragosa) get the ball out to (Avila)," Thompson said. "My run was coming from deep back and (the Wizards) didn't have anyone tracking me, so I was able to slip into a gap and get in behind them."

The draw moved FC Dallas (4-6-6) into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with Chivas USA, which plays a home match on Saturday against San Jose. Kansas City (4-5-5) remained at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Kansas City gained the advantage in the 39th minute after Scott Sealy accepted a feed from Claudio Lopez and beat goalkeeper Dario Sala on a 12-yard shot that sailed just inside the right post.

Sealy's tally ended a string of 448 consecutive minutes without an offensive goal for Kansas City. The Wizards' only tally in that stretch came on an own goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

"We had a ton of chances to put the game away, and our inability to do that cost us at the end," Kansas City coach Curt Onalfo said. "Basically, we were outstanding for 91 minutes. We've given up very few goals in our last few games and we were three minutes away from a shutout, but you can't put your defense under that kind of pressure for that many minutes."

Sala had been successful on two Wizards' shot prior to that, including a 30-yard blast from Kurt Morskink at just over the 30-minute mark. FC Dallas (4-6-6) also had three shots on goal in the first half - two from Kenny Cooper and one from Juan Toja.

Cooper had his first shot on goal denied by Hartman in the 12th minute, and Toja had a 30-foot launch stopped by Hartman in the 27th minute. Shortly before the halftime whistle, Toja sent a through-ball into the box for Cooper, but Hartman intercepted the chance.

"It's frustrating because this is not the first time we've blown a lead," Hartman said. "We need to do a better job of defending a lead, killing off games and being more mature about our soccer. We had three points in our hand and just gave it away."

Hartman wound up with five saves on a total of 17 shots faced, including six on goal. Sala made two saves on Kansas City's 12 shots.

FC Dallas had two almost sure-fire opportunities at goals nullified by offside calls in the second half. In the 57th minute, Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad was about to be penalized for a handball in the box, but the play was ruled offside right before the infraction was whistled.

Then 20 minutes later, Hartman mishandled a shot from Toja at the edge of the goal area and Cooper knocked in the loose ball after a quick charge in front. Once again, however, the linesman ruled the play offside.

"My thinking was, 'How could that be offside when the goalie knocked it down?' I don't know," FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "All I can say is the referee and the linespeople are in a much better position to see that than me, so I have to trust their integrity.

"I'm as happy I can be with one point, but I don't think we played very well as a team. The exciting thing is that I think there is room for improvement. That's my objective as a coach."