Mathis pair beats the Wiz, 2:1
September 6, 2003 (Official Game Summary)

Kansas City MetroStars
Preki Mathis 2
09.06.03 · League

Clint Mathis scored goals on either side of halftime -- his first league strikes since a two-goal match on July 2 -- and MetroStars ended a five-match winless streak by holding on for a 2-1 victory against Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mathis gave the visitors the lead just before halftime, then hit for his second of the night and ninth of the season in the 59th minute, before a Preki penalty kick 11 minutes from time led to a torrid final stretch but the Wizards still saw their own winless streak extended to seven matches.

Both teams -- as has been the case recently -- struggled to put together any sort of coherent attack in the early going. MetroStars coach Bob Bradley set out his team to clog the midfield, keeping Mark Lisi, Richie Williams and Ricardo Clark in a screen in front of the back four.

The Wizards had most of the possession from the start, but did little to greatly trouble Jonny Walker in the Metro goal. Their best chances of the first half hour didn't even reach Walker: Preki turning Richie Williams inside-out before driving a low cross into the goalmouth that defender Chris Leitch did well to block at close range on 20 minutes, then Eric Quill rising up for a clear header on a Preki cross, but sending it over the bar.

The MetroStars attack also found any sort of rhythm difficult to maintain. But Mathis was at the end of a terrific passing movement out of midfield, Amado Guevara playing the U.S. international in behind the Kansas City defense where he turned Jimmy Conrad, but curled a tame shot that Tony Meola was able to push aside on the dive in the 33rd minute.

Then in first-half stoppage time, after some strong disagreement from the Wizards, referee Brian Hall awarded a corner kick. Guevara swung it in from the right, where Mathis rose up unmarked in the center of the area. He powerfully headed down, Kerry Zavagnin just unable to keep the ball from crossing the line.

With the goal, MetroStars came out in the second half just looking to weather an expected storm, and break on the counter. Just before the hour mark it worked to perfection when Mathis scored his second, racing onto a long ball from John Wolyniec played from well into his own half, Mathis in all alone on Meola before finishing with authority. It was the seventh multiple-goal game in 125 league appearances for Mathis.

Wolde Harris collected a pass very near the Metro goal, and after holding off a defender, played a pass back for Preki. His shot bounced off Williams's hands at the spot, and referee Brian Hall showed no hesitation in immediately pointing to the spot. Preki made no mistake with the ensuing penalty, sending Walker the wrong way for his 11th goal of the season.

The Wizards nearly drew level on a pair of occasions in the final 10 minutes. Igor Simutenkov should have done better when well-placed, a Preki pass finding him alone 15 yards straight from goal, but his shot was well over the bar. Francisco Gomez tested Walker with a powerful drive from outside the area, but the 'keeper was well positioned for a calm save.

Lineup: Walker, DiGiamarino, Pope, Jolley, Leitch, Clark, Williams, Lisi, Guevara, Wolyniec, Mathis. Subs: Magee, Forchetti, Gaven.

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