In a match that many of us would have been satisfied with a mere draw or even a one goal loss heading back to RFK, DC United shocked everyone with a proficient 4-1 victory at CD Olimpia. Christian Gomez paced the attack with a brace, both very well taken from outside the box and United debutant Luciano Emilio scores against his old team with Facundo Erpen rounding out the scoring with a header off of a corner kick late in the match. That’s right, I said a goal off a corner.
While United definitely showed signs of rust throughout the match, they took their scoring chances well as they scored on all four of their shots on goal. The condition of the field looked good on television but you could tell right away that it was choppy and United struggled to deal with it until midway in the first half when Gomez’ golazo from 25 yards curled into the upper 90 just out of reach of the lunging Olimpia keeper. Olimpia equalized three minutes later after a poor clearance attempt from the United defense and scored when a cross was whipped into the box and was nodded home to tie the score at 1-1. Clyde Simms failed to get goal side of his attacker and left Troy Perkins with no chance. However, United would take the lead for good at the stroke of halftime when Josh Gros beat his man down the line and sent in a left-footed cross that Emilio cheekily backheeled into goal. Emilio showed his class by not celebrating his goal demonstratively in front of his old team and fans.
United played much better in the second half and when Gomez added his second of the game it was all over but the shouting. Erpen finished the scoring late on and United heads back to RFK with a three goal cushion going into the second leg. Despite the incorrect information constantly given to us by the FSC announcing duo of Christian Miles and Paul Caliguiri, away goals do not count in this competition. If they did this tie would be merely academic. United still has a job to do next Thursday. Let’s just hope Miles doesn’t announce this leg of the tie because he could be quite possibly the worst PBP announcer in US Soccer history. How many of you out there lost count the number of times he misidentified United players? If anyone was playing the Christian Miles drinking game, their liver is toast right now.