- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 21, 2002

The D.C. United forwards struggled most of the way, so it stands to reason that it was a defender who won last night's game at RFK Stadium.
After United's forwards squandered numerous scoring opportunities against goalie Tony Meola and the Kansas City Wizards (1-1-1), one of the top defensive clubs in Major League Soccer, Ivan McKinley made the most of his late chance. McKinley ended the game when he headed in Bobby Convey's cross in the 92nd minute to give United a much-needed 2-1 overtime victory before 12,759.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for United (2-3) and the team remained undefeated at RFK this season. With six of its next eight games at home, United has an opportunity to get itself back into the Eastern Conference race.
McKinley's game-winner was the 20th of his seven-year MLS career. But it had been more than a year and a half since McKinley scored his last goal Aug. 30, 2000, at the Colorado Rapids.
"It was a lot of luck," said McKinley, of the game-winner.
Said United coach Ray Hudson: "Ivan got himself into two or three other positions where he could have scored goals."
The wild finish started on Marco Etcheverry's free kick from the right wing. Etcheverry perfectly drove the ball through the middle of the 6-yard box, and it barely glanced off forward Jaime Moreno's head and went off the left post. Reserve forward Ali Curtis tried to head the rebound back into the middle. Wizards goalkeeper Meola punched the ball back out to the top of the penalty box. Convey collected the ball, crossed it back into the box with his left foot, and the unmarked McKinley sent a header into the net's upper right corner.
United received a boost from Moreno, who made his season debut in the 90th minute. Moreno, who underwent offseason knee surgery, saw three minutes of action. The plan was for Moreno, United's all-time leading goal scorer (66) and points producer (180), to play 10 minutes.
Curtis, who came on for ineffective Abdul Thompson Conteh at halftime, gave United a short-lived 1-0 lead in the 71st minute. The play started on a long goal kick by United goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Midfielder Lazo Alavanja headed Rimando's kick forward to Curtis, who dribbled in a few steps and unloaded a shot at goal that was smothered by Meola, who collided with defender Peter Vermes and dropped the ball. The opportunistic Curtis got the rebound and tapped in the ball from eight yards out to an open net for his second goal of the season.
While United was still relishing Curtis' goal, Preki, the Wizards' 38-year-old central playmaker, took advantage and tied the game two minutes later. Preki cut into the box from the right, passed two United defenders and with his left foot sent a low drive from 12 yards out. The shot beat Rimando to his left.
"Preki still has it, fabulous," Hudson said.
Coming into the game, United knew the Wizards were going to play their tight possession game. United's best chance of the scoreless first half came in the 44th minute on a 35-yard bomb by forward Santino Quaranta. Conteh chested down a ball from Etcheverry just outside the 18-yard box. Conteh played the ball square to Quaranta, who blasted a rocket on goal. Meola was forced to dive to his left to make the save.
In the 28th minute, Convey had an opportunity to score his second professional goal, but couldn't get enough on a header.

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