D.C. United continued their home field-winning ways with the final score 2-1 over the New York City Football Club this past Saturday.
In the Major League Soccer standings, D.C. United picked up another three points, which moved them onto a level with four other teams in the Eastern Conference, who also have seven points each. This is a long way from the single point they were carrying just a few weeks ago. Columbus Crew SC currently leads the conference with 10 points.
The first score of the match was in the 53rd minute by United’s Lloyd Sam. Sam took advantage of Frédéric Brillant’s extra touches to drop in on Brillant, win the ball, and slot a shot past keeper Sean Johnson. In a blink of an eye, the score went from 0-0 to 1-0 in favor of D.C. United.
NYC FC dominated possession of the ball for the entire match. In fact, looking at the box scores and MLS statistics, the Football Club would appear to have been the winner on paper, aside from the actual score. Possession of the ball belonged to New York 65.9% of the time, and their overall passing accuracy was 83% compared to D.C. United’s 66%.
Most of the match was played on the defensive side of D.C. United’s field. United’s star center back Bobby Boswell being back on the pitch for the last two games has reminded everyone of his role and importance in the game. Boswell ran an excellent defense keeping NYC FC’s David Villa well-marked in the defensive third of the pitch. Boswell broke attacks by New York, keeping them from getting into scoring positions more than once.
In the 73rd minute, D.C. United scored a second goal. Lloyd Sam was blocked by Johnson but the block rebounded high and back onto the field. D.C.’s Luciano Acosta jumped on the rebound and fired right into the back of the net. D.C. United had a safety point on the board leaving NYC FC in need of two goals to draw even, and three to win if D.C. United did not score again.
David Villa of NYC FC picked up a cross with his right foot to drill a shot past the United defense and keeper Hamid. Only seven minutes left in the game and the Football Club needed one more goal to draw even.
D.C.’s defense could not afford any errors if they wanted to keep New York at bay. For the remainder of regular time play and 3 minutes of stoppage time, D.C. United held off NYC FC, as they had the entire match.
When these two teams met earlier in the season, NYC FC downed D.C. United 4- 0. Taking down New York this time on United’s home turf was a bit of sweet revenge for that early season throttling.
The errors committed by NYC FC allowed D.C. to score. David Villa of NYC FC confirmed that after the game.
“We’re not happy with how the game went. Really, it was difficult for both teams: the field was very bad, the wind was difficult to play in for both teams. It’s not an excuse, because it was the same for the both teams and well, it was down to seeing who could get a goal. We committed two errors. We gifted them the two goals.”
However, if those two goals were gifts like Villa said, D.C. United would not need world class athletes to score. While the errors contributed to D.C.’s win, it was the talent and skill of Sam and Acosta as well as support from the rest of the team that led to victory. D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen said it best, “I love a group effort, and everybody played a part in this. All the guys played up to their standards and gave everything they had. We knew we were going to have to score more than one goal to get the points we needed, and we did.”
D.C. United’s next game will be an away match at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls April 15th at 7:30 p.m. The game will be carried on NewsChannel 8.
In the National Women’s Soccer League, the Washington Spirit overcame the University of Virginia Cavaliers 2-0 this past Saturday. The regular NWSL season opens this coming weekend, in which the Washington Spirit will play the North Carolina Courage, formerly known as the Western NY Flash. This will be a rematch against the team that beat the Spirit for the NWSL Championship last fall. Game time is 3 p.m. at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds.
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