Fabian Espindola scored twice for D.C. United in their 2-1 win over Waterhouse FC tonight in Kingston, Jamaica in their CONCACAF Champions Group 4 match up.
With the victory United will only need a draw in it’s final two group matches against the already eliminated Tauro FC who first come to town next week on Wednesday, September 24th at 8pm EST. United and Waterhouse are tied with six points apiece at the top of Group 4 but the Jamaican side has completed all of their group matches.
Espindola, playing the full 90 minutes due mainly to his red card last weekend against New York Red Bull and injuries to several regulars left back in D.C., scored the opening goal in the 38th minute in spectacular fashion.
A poor giveaway from the Waterhouse midfield right to Espindola started the Argentine striker on an unlikely 1-v-3 scenario. Somehow he managed to squeeze out space moving to his right just outside the penalty area and lofted a right-footed chip over the outstretched hands of the Waterhouse goalkeeper and into the far side netting to give United a 1-0 lead.
United fought off a few half chances from the home side before getting to the break with the lead. Just six minutes after the restart United doubled their lead.
Samuel Inkoom, making his debut with United at right back, moved to right midfield when Sean Franklin came on at halftime. The Ghanaian World Cup veteran turned provider for Espindola when his cross from the right side met the forehead of Espindola who easily dispatched to the far post for the 2-0 lead.
With United seemingly in control, the game turned in the 70th minute when Taylor Kemp was forced to foul a Waterhouse FC attacker just outside the penalty area. The foul drew a second yellow for Kemp and he was sent off.
Midfielder Ewan Gray stepped up and sent his free kick over the wall and off the underside of the crossbar past Bill Hamid to halve the deficit at 2-1. With United sitting back and down a man, it was a frantic final 20 minutes as the Black-and-Red managed to hold on and take a stranglehold on Group 4.
United will travel home from Jamaica tomorrow and will prepare for their away match in Chicago on Saturday night. After that United will look to push their way to the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League beginning in February of 2015 when Tauro FC comes to town.