Blast takes Comets to school again, 10-7, as 8 players score

Baltimore wins 9th of 10 before 15, 198 fans in K.C.

Soccer

February 05, 2004|By Sam Mellinger | Sam Mellinger,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the moments after the Blast took yet another convincing victory, coach Tim Wittman stood outside his team's locker room and talked about how he never quite felt comfortable against Kansas City.

Assuming it's not just coach-speak, Wittman's comments say more about his own disposition than any threat Kansas City posed in the Blast's 10-7 victory in an early School Day promotion at Kemper Arena yesterday.

The Blast led 4-1 at halftime, 6-1 early in the third quarter, and 10-5 in the fourth. Kansas City never pulled closer than three goals in the second half.

"We got a good start on them, but we knew they'd never let up," Wittman said. "We were able to answer them every time they scored on us. That was a good sign for us, but we never should have let them in that position in the first place."

The Blast (18-6) extended its Eastern Division lead over Philadelphia to 3 1/2 games. This was the second victory over Kansas City (8-15) in four days; the Blast won at home, 11-4.

Approaching a showdown game at Philadelphia on Saturday, the Blast has won nine of its past 10.

Lee Tschantret and P.J. Wakefield each scored twice for the Blast, but it was a mostly balanced attack that saw eight goal scorers and 10 players record at least one point.

Kansas City was overwhelmed against the Blast's experience and wide range of weapons. This was a bit of a mismatch from the start, considering the Blast has the Major Indoor Soccer League's highest-scoring offense and the Comets the league's worst defense.

Kansas City coach Zoran Savic said he was proud of his team's effort but sounded like a man who knew he was defeated by a superior opponent.

"We're lacking a little bit of experience in some spots, there's no doubt about that," Savic said. "When you take a veteran team like Baltimore, that inexperience is going to show. But we're getting there. You really can't see the progress, because we've played Baltimore twice in a row now, but it's there."

This was the Comets' annual School Day game, and about two-thirds of the announced crowd of 15,198 fans - an MISL season-best - were children. While the kids seemed more interested in what music was played over the loudspeakers, they were paying enough attention to the game that they booed the home team twice in the second half.

Though the Comets never were able to make a serious push against the Blast, Wittman said he remained concerned that the Comets' explosive offense would make a game of it.

"If they come back and get another goal somewhere in there, it's a completely different game," Wittman said.

Blast 2 2 4 2 - 10

Kansas City 0 1 3 3 - 7

First quarter: Blast, Wakefield (Hileman), 5:21; Blast, Celenza (unassisted), 11:05. Penalties: Blast, Farias, misconduct, 13:10.

Second quarter: Blast, Handsor (Cabral), 6:26; Kansas City, Delevski (Andonovski), 6:58; Blast, Daughtridge (Gilbert(, 7:47. Penalties: None.

Third quarter: Blast, Tschantret (unassisted), 0:13; Blast, Walker (Gilbert), 2:15; Kansas City, Naumoski (Beasley), 3:01; Kansas City, Delevski (shootout), 9:00; Blast, Tschantret (Farias), 11:25; Kansas City, Davis (Soell), 11:59; Blast, Wakefield (Handsor), 14:51. Penalties: Blast, bench, delay of game, 0:00; Kansas City, Andonovski, holding, 3:57; Blast, Regis, pushing, 8:58; Blast, Nelson, misconduct, 9:00; Blast, bench, misconduct, 9:00.

Fourth quarter: Kansas City, Andonovski (unassisted), 4:07; Blast, Farias (unassisted) 8:42; Blast, Cabral (Handsor), 11:06; Kansas City, Maher (Naumoski), 13:31; Kansas City, Beasley( Naumoski), 14:36. Penalties: None.

Shots on goal: Blast 10-5-10-8 -- 33; Kansas City 10-3-7-11 -- 31. Power play: Blast 0-1, Kansas City 0-2. Shootouts: Blast 0-0, Kansas City 1-1 (Delevski). Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman, 29 shots, 22 saves. Kansas City, Damico, 26 shots, 17 saves; Andonovski, sixth attacker, 6:08, 1 shot, 0 saves.

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