Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - It has taken five years but D.C. United is
finally back in the Major League Soccer postseason.
The fabled MLS club clinched a playoff berth by earning a dramatic 3-2 victory
over the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium on Saturday.
Columbus wasted no time grabbing the lead as Eddie Gaven pounced on a failed
clearance in the penalty area and fired a shot past Bill Hamid in the seventh
D.C. clawed its way back into the match at the 39th minute as Nick De Leon
turned in a rebound conceded by Andy Gruenebaum, but Columbus reclaimed the
lead two minutes later thanks to a fortuitous bounce as Jairo Arrieta's shot
ping-ponged from the post to the back of the net by way of Hamid's heel.
The second half belonged to the home side though, as Marcelo Saragosa brought
D.C. level once more when a one-time effort through traffic beat Gruenebaum in
the 59th minute.
D.C. United was made to wait until stoppage time for the game-winner as Lewis
Neal broke free in behind the Crew defense and slipped a shot past Gruenebaum
for his second goal of the season.
The win lifts United (17-10-6) to 57 points on the season, three points adrift
of first-place Sporting Kansas City. Should Sporting lose to the Philadelphia
Union on Wednesday, D.C. can steal the top spot with a win at the Chicago Fire
Columbus (14-12-7) is no longer in postseason contention, sitting sixth in the
East with 49 points and trailing the Houston Dynamo by four points with one
game to go.
The Sports Network