Thursday, September 04, 2008

DC United Take Second U.S. Open Cup

What a game as DC United not only won the U.S. Open Cup 2-1 at RFK, but also secured a spot in next year's CONCACAF Champions League no matter what happens with the rest of the season.

The game looked like it would be a high scoring affair, with Emilio getting at 5th mintue goal. Jaime Moreno made a nifty backheel pass to Tino Quaranta who looked like he was getting set for a shot on goal near the top of the box, John Wilson from Charleston made a hard tackle for what could have been a free kick, but I have to say I am happy that Referee Mark Geiger did the right thing and held his whistle since the ball popped out to Emilio who slotted a shot just past the Charleston keeper.

Five minutes later Charleston equalized on a quick counterattack goal. The game settled into an end to end battle and each side created chances.

DC United had to go the bench quickly. Just a few minutes after scoring, Emilio left the game with a muscle strain, replaced by Rod Dyachenko. In teh 40th minute, Joe Vide was replaced by Fred when Vide suffered a hamstring strain. That was two subs before the first half and I have to say, I was worried.

Five minutes into the second half, Fred, who was working hard and showing the kind of ability he has, got the winning goal. Clyde Simms (the DC Iron man) slotted a pass that put Fred in behind the Charleston back line and Fred took a couple of touches to control before clinically finishing the goal.

Charleston created lots of chances in the final 30 minutes as DC appeared to sort of bunker in to protect the lead (usually a bad move for DC since their back line has been porous). This time DC got lucky and the chances Charleston had ended up being off the mark of deflected away from goal.

It was an entertaining game with lots of action. I am very happy DC United won, but hats off to Charleston for showing that the gap between USL-1 and the MLS is not a great as you would think.

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