for this game

Crew move into conference finals, top Wizards

Nov 9, 2008 - 5:09 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- As the top seed in the MLS Cup, the Columbus Crew earned the right to host the second leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal match with the Kansas City Wizards.

The Crew used that to their advantage on Saturday, extending a home-unbeaten streak to 10 games and advancing to the conference finals with a 2-0 win over the Wizards.

Brad Evans and Robbie Rogers recorded a goal apiece for Columbus, setting up a date between the Supporters' Shield winners and the second-seeded Chicago Fire on Thursday.

"We are happy to be moving into the conference finals," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "It's been a long time since the Crew has won a playoff game, so that's good. I take my hat off to Kansas City. I thought they played well tonight. I thought they were sharp and aggressive."

After a stoppage-time goal gave the Crew a 1-1 tie in the first leg against the Wizards last Saturday, they owned a 13-6 advantage in shots during the second leg and took an early lead on Evans' goal in the seventh minute.

Evans accepted a long, looping pass from Brian Carroll that sailed over the Kansas City defense and beat Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to open the scoring.

"B.C. just lifted his head, picked me out, and played a nice ball, I think it was over Conrad," Evans said. "It kind of turned him around a bit. As soon as the ball hit the ground, I saw Hartman out of the corner of my eye. (My) only option really was to put it up high. Luckily, it took a good bounce."

Kansas City had a chance to knot the match seven minutes later, but Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer made his only save of the match, stuffing Abe Thompson inside the six-yard box.

"It stings, it hurts, you never want to have your season over, but we look forward to continue getting better as we move into next season," Kansas City coach Curt Onalfo said.

Columbus improved to 13-0-0 when scoring first this season - and 9-0-0 at home.

Rogers added an insurance tally in the 58th minute, thanks to a pair of nice passes.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto started the play, feeding a ball to Alejandro Moreno down the right sideline. Moreno took a touch then sent a cross to Rogers, who blasted a shot past Hartman to make it 2-0.

"I knew if Alejandro was out wide then someone else has to get in the middle," Rogers said. "I think maybe Eddie (Gaven) was near post and the ball just came back post perfectly. It sat perfectly for me. I just thought I better put this on target or they are going to kill me."

Columbus and Chicago met twice in the regular season, playing to a pair of 2-2 draws.

"We have tied them twice I believe," Rogers said. "They are a great team. I think we have a little advantage playing at home again. But like I said they are a good team. We just need to focus on ourselves. That is when we are most successful."








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    KANSAS CITY 0
    COLUMBUS 2
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    MLS KANSAS CITY 0
    COLUMBUS 1 HALFTIME

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    COLUMBUS 1
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    Sporting Kansas City 0, Crew SC 1  1st - 7'Nov 8 7:46 PM