Scoreless draw sends Wizards to Western Conference finals

November 4, 2007

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- The Kansas City Wizards advanced to the Western Conference finals by holding Chivas USA to a scoreless draw Saturday night.

The Wizards beat Chivas 1-0 in Kansas City a week ago and claimed the aggregate-goals series with their lone goal.

Chivas USA won the Western Conference with a 15-7-8 record, but ultimately could not overcome the absence of second-leading scorer Ante Razov. On Oct. 11, Razov sprained ligaments in his left knee and Chivas scored one goal in five games since.

Kansas City seemed content protecting its 1-0 aggregate lead. From the opening moments, the Wizards regularly dropped nine players behind the ball, leaving forwards Eddie Johnson and Scott Sealy alone near the middle of the field when Chivas had possession.

Paulo Nagamura attempted Chivas' first shot of the match in the 12th minute, but the ball sailed into goalkeeper Kevin Hartman's hands.

Chivas' Jesse Marsch was given a yellow card in the 19th minute for protesting a tackle on Ramon Nunez. Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad flattened Nunez from behind but referee Mark Geiger did not call a foul.

Kansas City had the first clear attempt in the second half. On a counterattack, Johnson held the ball at the top of the penalty area and ripped a 19-yard shot on goal, but Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan caught the ball. The shot was Kansas City's second on goal.

Kurt Morsink saved the Wizards in the 59th minute when he cleared a ball off the goal line. Shavar Thomas sent a header on goal off a corner kick but Morsink was planted next to the left post and cleared the ball away.

Galindo hit the post in the 69th minute as Chivas nearly took the lead and drew the series even.

Chivas turned up the pressure afterward and had all 10 field players on the Wizards side of the field in a desperate attempt to score a goal.

Marsch hit the crossbar in stoppage time in a final surge for Chivas.

Chivas USA's Maykel Galindo returned to the starting lineup. Galindo has been bothered by an abdominal strain for more than one month and missed the first game of the series. But Galindo recovered in enough time to play, in part because of a cortisone shot he took earlier in the week.

Galindo led Chivas in goals with 12 but last scored a goal on Aug. 23.


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