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MLSnet.com > Headlines > 2002 Season >

Crew Move On To Final

John Wilmar Perez

John Wilmar Perez came off the bench to score two goals, including the OT game-winner.

COLUMBUS, OH (Tuesday, September 10, 2002) -- The Columbus Crew advanced to the U.S. Open Cup Final in dramatic fashion Tuesday night at Crew Stadium, coming back from a two-goal deficit midway through the second half to defeat the Kansas City Wizards 3-2 in overtime in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal.

Second-half substitute John Wilmar Perez scored the game-tying goal two minutes into second-half stoppage time, then banged in the winner 18 minutes into overtime. With the win, Columbus advances to its second U.S. Open Cup Final in team history. The Crew will host the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., in a match that will be televised live on FOX Sports World and FOX Sports Espanol. The Crew's flagship radio station, 103.9 The New Eagle, will also carry the game.

The Crew lost in sudden-death overtime, 2-1, to Chicago in the 1998 Final at Soldier Field. Kansas City scored once in each half to open a 2-0 lead before the Crew went to work. Red-hot Edson Buddle cut the lead in half in the 76th minute to set up Perez's heroics.

"It certainly was an entertaining game," said Crew head coach Greg Andrulis. "Not the way you draw it up, but I think our guys just showed a tremendous amount of heart and determination and never-say-die attitude."

“I thought we were the better team for the first 75 minutes," said Wizards Head Coach Bob Gansler. "After (Chris) Brown’s goal we felt we were in good shape. Obviously their first goal in the 76th minute gave them the momentum and they just kept coming at us. Then I felt in the first overtime we were the better side and were closer to scoring and did a good job of creating opportunities."

When we were up 2-0, we needed to finish that game in regulation," continued Gansler. "The work was there, the effort was there, the intensity was there, the passion and all of that was there, but we just need to be smarter in terms of finishing it up. We had plenty of opportunities, Preki had one go off the crossbar and there were a couple other opportunities to make it 3-0. We just ran out of gas there at the end.”

The Crew returns to MLS action on Saturday, Sept. 14 in its home finale when Columbus tangles with Eastern Conference rival the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. A Columbus win on Saturday will clinch a playoff spot for the Crew.

The Wizards will return to MLS regular season action this weekend when they host the Colorado Rapids at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, September 14. The match will kickoff at 7:00 p.m. CT and will mark the final 2002 regular season home game for Kansas City. Saturday will be Fan Appreciation Night as all fans in attendance will receive a Wizards team poster compliments of Papa John’s Pizza and will have a chance to win some great prizes.

Scoring Summary:
KC: Own Goal (Chad McCarty) 2
KC: Chris Brown; Assist: Eric Quill 62
CLB: Edson Buddle; Assist: Kyle Martino 76
CLB: John Wilmar Perez; Unassisted 92+
CLB: John Wilmar Perez; Assist: Edson Buddle 108

Lineups:
COLUMBUS CREW: GK-John Busch, D-Chad McCarty (Dante Washington 71), D-Brian Dunseth, D-Mike Clark (Freddy Garcia 63), D-Eric Denton, M-Duncan Oughton, M-Edson Bddle, M-Kyle Martino, M-Brian Maisonneuve (C) (John Wilmar Perez 63), F-Jeff Cunningham, F-Brian McBride (Brian West 83)
TOTAL SHOTS: 19; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 24; OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 6;

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS - GK-Tony Meola (C), D-Carey Talley, D-Peter Vermes, D-Nick Garcia, D-Chris Klein, M-Kerry Zavagnin, M-Matt McKeon (Stephen Armstrong 46), M-Eric Quill (Mike Burns 65), M-Preki, F-Davy Arnaud (Chris Brunt 87), F-Dario Fabbro (Chris Brown 59)
TOTAL SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 21; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3;

Cautions
CLB - Edson Buddle (Reckless Foul) 10; Kyle Martino (Reckless Foul) 42; Chad McCarty (Reckless Foul) 55
KC - Davy Arnaud (Pushing, Holding) 16; Carey Talley (Reckless Foul) 44; Preki (Reckless Foul) 95

Ejections
CLB - None
KC - None

Referee: Casey Frankewicz; Assistant Referees: Michael Kennedy (bench side), Hilario Grajeda (far side); 4th Official: Mikael Lundqvist
Attendance: 2,103; Weather: Humid, cloudy

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