All Stars 4 Fulham 1

Saturday 30 July 2005

MLS All Stars 4-1 Fulham

The MLS All-Stars got three second-half goals, including a pair from substitute Jeff Cunningham, to race past Fulham for a 4-1 victory in the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on Saturday afternoon at Columbus Crew Stadium.

Taylor Twellman gave the MLS team the lead midway through the first half, but a penalty converted Claus Jensen sent the teams into the break level. Ronnie O'Brien deflected a Clint Dempsey shot to put the MLS side ahead for good just before the hour. Cunningham scored two goals in the final five minutes to provide the final scoreline.

The MLS All-Stars earned the first good scoring chance of the match in the third minute as Moritz Volz misplayed a cross by O'Brien. The German's header went straight up in the air and Dempsey fired a shot towards the back post, but it was cleared away by Carlos Bocanegra.

However, the former Chicago Fire defender was unable to save the Whites from an early deficit in the 23rd minute. Landon Donovan fed a ball from just outside the penalty area to Twellman, and the Revolution forward beat Bocanegra to the ball and poked it past keeper Mark Crossley to give the MLS All-Stars an early lead.

The same pair was wreaking havoc in the Fulham defence five minutes later. The Whites allowed Donovan to carry the ball to the area where the Galaxy star found Twellman, whose shot went just wide of goalkeeper's right post. In attempting the save Crossley sustained an injury and was soon replaced by Jaroslav Drobny.

The MLS lead lasted only for a quarter hour as Fulham levelled the match from the penalty spot. Claus Jensen found Luis Boa Morte streaking down the left side of the pitch and Chris Albright took down the Portuguese player as he tried to slip past in the area. From the spot, Jensen sent Matt Reis the wrong way to pull the Whites level.

Another fine piece of setup work by Donovan was wasted in the 38th minute. A through ball from the Galaxy forward put Dempsey behind the defence and in alone on goal, but the Revolution midfielder's shot narrowly missed the target.

Fulham had a great chance to take the lead five minutes into the second half. A pass into space by Brian McBride perfectly fed Tomasz Radzinski on the right. While Jimmy Conrad chased from behind, the Canadian striker beat Matt Reis with an angled drive which his the post.

A curling O'Brien effort challenged Drobny in the 54th minute, but the Fulham 'keeper was able to push the shot out for a corner.

Fulham had no answer for O'Brien just a couple minutes later. An Ivan Guerrero effort was headed away from goal, but not out of danger by Bocanegra. Dempsey came running in his volley was deflected past Drobny.

The MLS All-Stars nearly extended on two occasions, but Twellman struck a shot off the near post in the 72nd minute and Cunningham was denied by Drobny's diving save two minutes later.

Fulham nearly grabbed an equalizer against the run of play in the 79th minute but Matt Reis parried Steed Malbranque's shot over the goal.

The match was put beyond question five minutes later as Cunningham added two late goals to guarantee a victorious afternoon for the MLS side. In the 85th minute, he collected a neat pass from Christian Gomez that split the defence, firing a low drive from the right that cleanly beat Drobny and bounced in off the inside of the post.

Then in the 89th minute, the speed of Cunningham caught Fulham out. Cunningham took a short pass in the centre circle and burst through the Whites' back line, racing in alone before rolling a shot home.


Fulham: Crossley (Drobny 31); Volz, Knight, Bocanegra (Goma 61), N Jensen; Malbranque (Elrich 90), C Jensen, Rehman (Legwinski 75), Boa Morte; Radzinski (Helguson 68), McBride (John 61)