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Wizards Fall to Fire on the Road

August 15, 2002 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Sporting Kansas City News Release

The Kansas City Wizards fell to the Chicago Fire 5-1 in Naperville on Wednesday night. Preki gave the Wizards the early lead with a goal in the 8th minute. A goal in the 12th minute by Fire midfielder DaMarcus Beasley set the pace for the remainder of the match. Josh Wolff and Hristo Stoitchkov each notched a goal and an assist and Dema Kovalenko and Ante Razov scored in the closing minutes of the match. In the 90th minute Nick Garcia was given a red card for stopping a goal opportunity and Tony Meola received his second yellow card of the night in the 91+ minute. After receiving his second yellow card in the match Meola was given a red card and sent off the field.

6' The Wizards spent much of the opening minutes in their own end. Kansas City's first scoring opportunity came in the 6th minute of the match. Wizards forward Stephen Armstrong from 25 yards out sent a through ball wide left to midfielder Eric Quill. Quill collected the ball and slipped it to Wizards midfielder Preki stationed in the center of the 18 yard box. Preki collected the ball inside the box but his shot went high over the crossbar.

8' Wizards midfielder Preki notched an early first goal for Kansas City in the 8th minute. Kansas City forward Dario Fabbro worked his way just outside the top of the 6-yard box and took the shot on goal. Fire goalkeeper Zach Thorton deflected the ball out as Wizards midfielder Preki followed in the shot. Preki collected the loose ball and took the shot on goal. Thorton dove for the ball and tipped it as the ball trickled into the left corner over the goal line. The Wizards took an early lead 1-0.

12' Chicago tied the game at one goal apiece in the 12th minute of play. Fire midfielder Kelly Gray maneuvered the ball through two Wizards defenders to an awaiting forward DaMarcus Beasley. Beasley worked around the defensive line from the left goalpost and sent the ball into the opposite corner of the net. The score now tied at 1-1.

15' As the game entered into the 15th minute the intensity level heightened on the field as both teams created quality-scoring opportunities. Fire forward Ante Razov charged down the right flank and sent the ball to forward Josh Wolff. Wolff positioned himself, settled the ball and sent a shot to the right of Wizards 'keeper Tony Meola. The ball found the back of the net and put the Fire up 2-1.

39' Wizards midfielder Chris Klein looked to even the score as he took a shot from the right corner of the 18-yard box. The shot went low and Fire goalkeeper Zach Thorton deflected the ball out. Kansas City forward Stephen Armstrong collected the ball from 12 yards out but was unable to get a clean shot off.

44' in the 44th minute Fire forward Josh Wolff made a solid pass from the circle to midfielder Hristo Stoitchkov who patiently waited to gather the ball. Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola came off his line to meet Stoitchkov one on one on the 20-yard line. Stoitchkov lifted the ball around Meola and managed to chase the ball down. Stoitchkov was the first one to the goal as he dropped the ball into the back of the net.

59' The Wizards came out quick and looked to score in the 59th minute as Wizards midfielder Preki lined up for a freekick. Preki sent the ball towards to top left of the 18-yard box to forward Stephen Armstrong. Armstrong jogged between the Fire defense and sent the ball to Wizards midfielder Chris Brown. Brown was positioned at the right corner of the 6 yard box, hit a one timed shot but Fire 'keeper Zach Thornton deflected the ball left of the goalpost. Armstrong was there and tried heading the ball before it was cleared away by Chicago.

65' Wizards midfielder Francisco Gomez, who entered the game in the 62nd minute for forward Dario Fabbro, collected a loose ball from Wizards midfielder Preki. Gomez from 25 yards out took a shot that went high over the crossbar.

70' Chicago Fire midfielder DaMarcus Beasley had a breakaway from the 40-yard line. Beasley charged down the center of the field and met up with Wizards defenders Diego Gutierrez, Mike Burns and Nick Garcia. Beasley was hurried to make the shot and sent the ball across the goal just past the right goalpost.

73' The Kansas City Wizards continued to pressure Chicago's defense. Wizards midfielder Preki lined up for a corner kick and sent a rocket towards the left corner of the 18-yard box. Wizards defender Diego Gutierrez settled the ball and sent the ball back across the goal. The Fire had all defenders inside the box and was able to clear the ball out.

88' In the 88th minute Chicago midfielder Dema Kovalenko notched the fourth goal of the night for the Fire. Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley worked his way down the left flank inside the 18-yard box. Challenged by Kansas City's defense Beasley dumped a pass off to Kovalenko who was settled just to the right of the 6-yard box. Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola anticipated the play yet Kovalenko lifted the ball over Meola placing it in the middle of the net.

90' Wizards defender Nick Garcia and Fire midfielder DaMarcus Beasley were running neck in neck as both challenged one another for the ball. In the midst of the play the whistle blew and Garcia was shown a red card by the referee for stopping a goal opportunity. Before the ball went back into play the referee showed a yellow card to Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola for dissent. After receiving his second yellow card in the match Meola was given a red card and sent off the field. Wizards goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi, subbed in for midfielder Preki, took his place in goal.

93' Fire forward Ante Razov lined up for the freekick awarded to Chicago. From outside the box Razov bent the ball around the Wizards defensive wall. Goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi, shielded by the wall, was unable to stop the ball from going into the back of the net. The Fire defeated the Wizards 5-1.

Kansas City returns to MLS action Sunday, August 18th when they face the Columbus Crew. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium.

Notes for Kansas City Wizards at Chicago Fire - Wednesday, August 14th, 7:30 p.m. CT Vs. Opponent (8/14 at CHI)

* The Wizards trail the all-time series against Chicago 2-11-0 and trail 0-7-0 in Chicago.

* Kansas City has been outscored in the all-time series 13-37.

* This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. Kansas City will face Chicago twice in the final six games of the regular season.

* Kansas City has never won in Chicago, going 0-7-0 in their seven meeting in the "Windy City". Six games were played at Soldier Field and one game played at Cardinal Stadium.

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Major League Soccer Stories from August 15, 2002

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