D.C. United fought hard for just about 55 minutes before the inevitable talent of Real Madrid took over as the Black and Red fell 3-0 to the Galacticos before 72,368 fans at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. United hung tough with the Spanish giants for just over a half when Real Madrid substitutes Raul and Arjen Robben sliced and diced their way through a thoroughly exhausted United defense to finally give the visitors the lead they richly deserved. Two goals in two minutes from Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain finally did in the Black and Red. Higuain scored in the 57th and 59th minutes. Arjen Robben finished the scoring ten minutes later for the final 3-0 scoreline.
Both teams came out and slogged their way through the first 45 minutes of the match, though it was the Galacticos who had all the play. United goalkeeper Josh Wicks made a number of good saves throughout the first half and also got help from defenders Marc Burch and Greg Janicki, both of whom made key stops to keep the planet’s most expensive team off the scoreboard in a 0-0 first half. It took 28 minutes before United could even register their only shot of the half, though United did seem to play a bit better after their lone shot by pressing higher up the field.
After halftime United suprisingly made no substitutes after seeing a number of the Black and Red players wilt in the first half heat and humidity. However, it didn’t take long before Real Madrid’s class would show. Gonzalo Higuain sent the visitors on their way to a comfortable win over a clearly overmatched and exhausted United. In the 57th minute, a Real Madrid defender snuffed out a weak corner kick attempt from United and countered brilliantly. Madrid’s all-time leading scorer Raul led the attack and fed Higuain who seemed to run past numerous United defenders and finally slipped the ball under Josh Wicks for the 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later the visitors were frightening in their counter speed as Arjen Robben split two United defenders and unselfishly fed Higuain who rounded Wicks and slotted in for a 2-0 lead.
United seemed to settle down but in the 69th minute all hope for an unlikely United comeback was snuffed out when Arjen Robben chipped substitute goalkeeper Milos Kocic. Kocic seemed to get to the ball just as it was crossing the line but the assitant linesman ruled it had crossed the line. Replays were inconclusive but it seemed that Kocic just might have made the save. United did manage a bit more threat in the second half when substitute goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was called upon to save a Christian Gomez effort just seconds into the second half. United would only challenge one more time through a Luciano Emilio shot in the 76th minute that was easily saved by Dudek from a narrow angle.
- United will next play in Toronto this upcoming Saturday at 4pm EST. From there begins a grueling stretch of matches that will see the team playing 7 matches in 21 days, including two CONCACAF Champions League matches (@ Marathon 8/19; home vs Toluca 8/19) and the U.S. Open Cup Final (Sept 2nd) vs Seattle Sounders FC
- Bryan Namoff, Santino Quaranta, Ange N’Silu, Boyzzz Khumalo and Brandon Barklage were all held out due to injury issues.
- Ben Olsen is suspended for the upcoming match at Toronto FC due to yellow card accumilation.