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DC United's Chris Rolfe (18) keeps the ball away from Philadelphia's Vincent Nogueira during the second half of their team's match at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. United defeated the Union 2-1 with a Penalty Kick goal from Chris Rolfe. Photo Martin Fernandez.

Rolfe’s late PK is game-winner in 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union

Washington, D.C, May 30, 2015 – Chris Rolfe’s 85th minute penalty kick conversion pushed D.C. United to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Union in front of 16,284 sweaty fans tonight at RFK Stadium.

After giving up a 5th minute goal for the second game running, it was looking like D.C. United was heading for a fourth consecutive match without a victory. However, Chris Pontius’ stoppage-time goal in the first half leveled the match and Rolfe’s spot kick conversion turned the match around for the Black-and-Red.

Sebastian Le Toux’s goal just five minutes into the match gave the visitors the shock lead. United defender Steve Birnbaum was a bit casual in clearing a ball deep in the penalty area and he coughed the ball up to Andrew Wenger. Wenger quickly slipped the ball to his right where a wide-open Le Toux hammered his shot past an onrushing Bill Hamid for the 1-0 lead.

The Union should have doubled their lead midway through the first half but Wenger’s left-footed drive from 15 yards beat Hamid but crashed off the crossbar before being cleared out by United’s scrambling defense.

The Union were made to pay for that miss in stoppage time when Taylor Kemp’s pinpoint cross met Chris Pontius who’s powerful header snapped past Union goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre to level the match. For Kemp it was his team-leading 4th assist of the season but he would limp off with a suspected groin injury late in the match. Pontius’ goal was his second of the season.

After the break, both teams traded patches of possession with neither team really coming close to scoring until the final fifteen minutes of the match.

Just a minute before Rolfe was sent to the penalty spot, Nick DeLeon hit a thunderbolt that was ticketed for the near side upper netting that was well saved by Silvestre to keep the teams at 1-1. This was DeLeon’s first appearance since injuring his hamstring against Columbus at the begging of May.

Chris Korb, on for the injured Kemp, sent a diagonal ball to the far side of the penalty area when Philadelphia substitute Zach Pfeffer seemed to inadvertently handle the cross. The linesman immediately signaled the infraction and Rolfe stepped up and sent his penalty kick to the right of Sylvestre and send United to their first win since a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC on May 13th.

From there United easily kept the visitors at bay save for a close call when C.J. Sapong’s header in the 90th minute looped just over the crossbar.

With United in the midst of a 5 game in 14 day stretch of games, head coach Ben Olsen once again moved his lineup around.

Rolfe, Pontius, Davy Arnaud and Sean Franklin were all left in D.C. this past week as the team took a lighter roster out for their eventual 1-0 loss in Portland on Wednesday night.

With another match on Wednesday at home against the Chicago Fire and another match next Saturday night against Toronto FC, Olsen did confirm that more roster rotation will happen to help alleviate the crush of matches.

Wednesday night’s match will be televised live on CSN at 7pm.

DC United's Jaime Moreno notched a bizarre goal agains i-95 rival Philadelphia Union, but it wasn't enough to give United the vicotory

United nightmarish start continues with 3-2 loss to expansion Philadelphia Union

DC United's Jaime Moreno notched a bizarre goal agains i-95 rival Philadelphia Union, but it wasn't enough to give United the vicotory

DC United’s Jaime Moreno notched a bizarre goal in the second half of his team’s match against i-95 rival Philadelphia Union to tie the score at 2, but it wasn’t enough to give United a point or the victory. (Photo: Rafael Crisostomo)

Sebastion Le Toux scored a hat trick and powered the  Philadelphia Union to their first ever MLS victory in their home debut over D.C. United by a 3-2 scoreline. Don’t let the close score fool you, United were outmatched for 80 of the 90 minutes as the home side took only four minutes to take the lead. Le Toux got on the end of a cross from Roger Torres to power an unmarked header past Troy Perkins for the early deficit. Lax marking from United allowed the lanky Frenchman to simply walk through the penalty area.

Things didn’t improve for the visiting Black and Red as the first half saw a no rhythm or sense of composure on either end of the field as the expansion side passed triangles around the befuddled visitors. Philadelphia extended their lead in the 40th minute on a devastating counterattack. United were pushed up field playing their first corner of the game and Torres got hold of a clearance and sent the ball up field to Alejandro Moreno. Moreno did well to shield off Kurt Morsink and then fired a laser precise pass across the field to Le Toux who sprinted all alone into the box. As desperate United defenders converged, Le Toux fired low and hard to Perkins right and it was 2-0 for the Union.

After halftime head coach Curt Onalfo made the obvious choice to insert Jaime Moreno into the match. The Bolivian sparked United immediately creating a few dangerous opportunities but it was the Union that almost increased their lead to 3-0 when Le Toux was sent in alone when Dejan Jakovic fell pray to a dummy move from Alejandro Moreno. Perkins did well to come off his line and thwart the challenge and keep the score at 2-0. In the 63rd minute United finally broke their seasons duck when Santino Quaranta picked up a bad pass from Michael Orozco and let loose a left-footed blast from 22 yards that took a slight deflection and got past the diving Chris Seitz to halve the lead.

In the 70th minute Jaime Moreno tied the match on one of the most bizarre goals in MLS history. Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz was just about to punt the ball out of the box when Moreno faked a move towards Seitz just as he dropped the ball to volley it. Since Moreno never actually made contact, the move froze Seitz in his tracks and the ball fell to the ground. The Bolivian swept it up, put a fake on Seitz and easily slotted the ball into the empty net to give the visitors a highly improbable tie match at 2-2.

That all changed in the 81st minute when Alejandro Moreno was adjudged to be taken down in an obvious goal scoring opportunity. A red card was show to United’s Dejan Jakovic and the resulting free kick was placed easily inside the far post giving the Union their first ever MLS win by a 3-2 margin. United must now find a way to pick themselves up and get back on track as they start a 3-match home stand starting next weekend against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, April 17th.

United Notes

– defender Juan Manuel Pena was subbed out of the match early in the first half with a hamstring strain

– Dejan Jakovic will miss the Chicago Fire match with his red card