D.C. United finds way to upend Wizards, 2-0 Victory over hurting team is first in six tries vs. K.C.

September 01, 1997|By Lowell E. Sunderland | Lowell E. Sunderland,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- In losing all five previous games with the Kansas City Wizards, the only Major League Soccer club it had never beaten, D.C. United led by a total of 10 minutes.

But in what might be a preview of the second MLS Cup, United broke the K.C. jinx yesterday in front of 18,123 at RFK Stadium, winning, 2-0, in workmanlike fashion. And now, United has led the West-leading Wizards for 78 minutes in six games.

"We were up against it," Kansas City coach Ron Newman said, bemoaning the lot of his injury-strapped squad that was playing its second game in less than 48 hours. "I'm just pleased that we didn't get whacked."

United, having joined the Wizards in clinching a playoff berth, was delighted to beat K.C. at last, as well as earning the three-point win as it nears the Eastern Conference title, said coach Bruce Arena.

Short-handed or not, the Wizards made a game of it, even after United playmaker Marco Etcheverry gave his team the lead in the 22nd minute. It was Etcheverry magic, a 23-yard, left-footed free kick from the right of the penalty box that arced untouched over goalkeeper Mike Amman into the far, top corner.

Both sides played a hard game, marking tightly, keeping pressure on the ball and limiting long, searching passes. Only 13 shots were on goal. The teams split 25 foul calls, 13-12, and each received three yellow cards.

Not until the 77th minute did United ice the win, with forward Jaime Moreno feeding Roy Wegerle, who had entered the game three minutes earlier, for a goal that squeezed under Amman from 10 yards. United forward Raul Diaz Arce missed a penalty kick in the 16th minute after Moreno was went down in a group of defenders. The shot rebounded off the top right of the crossbar.

The Wizards came into the game on a seven-game win streak and had captured eight of their previous 10 matches.

Pub Date: 9/01/97

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