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Revs eliminate Wizards, MLS playoff field set

By IAN HOLLIDAY

The Kansas City Wizards came into Gillette Stadium Saturday night knowing they needed a lot of help to have a shot at the MLS playoffs, but none of it mattered when they couldn't defeat the New England Revolution.

A first half goal from Shalrie Joseph was the difference in a 1-0 win for the Revs in their final home match of the season.

The loss means the Wizards will miss out on the MLS playoffs for the second consecutive season and the Colorado Rapids will return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

The game was entertaining from the start, with both teams able to stretch the field and create chances. Kansas City, in particular, looked lively, with their playoff hopes hinging on a win. It was the Revolution who broke through first, however, as Joseph opened the scoring in the 31st minute.

The Revolution captain ran onto a long feed from Chris Tierney, arriving in time to head a high bounce around Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and finish into an open net.

With their playoff lives on the line, the Wizards turned up the pressure at the start of the second half. Kei Kamara came within inches of leveling the score in the 59th minute when he drove a 25-yard free kick just wide of the far post.

Teal Bunbury had another great chance for the visitors in the 69th minute when he was able to turn and shoot in the Revolution box. The effort struck the corner of post and crossbar and went over for a goal kick.

The Wizards thought they should have earned penalties on three different occasions when their players went down in the box, but referee Jair Marrufo was reluctant to blow his whistle throughout the match, preferring to let the players play.

Kansas City Head Coach Peter Vermes didn't dwell on the refereeing after the match, noting that his team had other chances that it failed to finish.

"I think we created enough chances throughout the course of the game to be in the game if not walk away with the points," Vermes said. "My credit to New England – they fought hard and played hard."

Kamara had a good chance in the 15th minute off of a Roger Espinoza corner kick. The cross found Shavar Thomas at the back post, who headed it to Kamara at the six yard box, but the Sierra Leone international didn't head the ball cleanly, and his shot went wide.

Joseph had the game's first chance when he hit the post in the 3rd minute. The Revolution captain laid the ball off to Marko Perovic, who returned it immediately to set up an open look for Joseph from 18 yards.

The Revolution finish their season Thursday night at the New York Red Bulls, while Kansas City wraps up 2010 at home against San Jose.

Here are the highlights from tonight's match:

What did you think of the match? Surprised KC couldn't get the equalizer? Disappointed that the playoff race didn't come down to the final week?

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