United vs. Philadelphia: Controversy abounds in 1-1 draw with the Union

D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario missed his second attempt at a penalty kick in the 89th minute after scoring on the first as the Philadelphia Union held on to draw D.C. on Sunday, 1-1, in a match that spiraled out of control late at RFK Stadium.

An encroachment call on De Rosario’s successful penalty kick attempt in the 87th minute was followed by a scrum, during which United midfielder Branko Boskovic was handed a red card.

De Rosario rocketed the ensuing kick over the goal to preserve the final score, but the dramatics weren’t done. D.C. defender Emiliano Dudar was handed a straight red three minutes later, Union defender Sheanon Williams was sent off with a second yellow in the dying seconds of the match.

The Union ended a two-game losing skid despite blowing an early lead, while D.C. now have one win their previous five tries. Philadelphia (7-12-3, 24 points) jumped up one spot to eighth in the Eastern Conference while D.C. (11-8-4, 37) took sole possession of fifth, just ahead of the Montreal Impact.

After beating Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath to his right on the first penalty attempt, De Rosario chipped his second shot high over the net. Chris Pontius was tripped by Roger Torres in the box, setting the stage for the penalty.

Boskovic’s 70th-minute free kick deflected off Philadelphia’s Amobi Okugo for an own goal that proved the equalizer in a match where the Union’s Brian Carroll gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.

Boskovic, who entered the match in the 57th minute and turned the tide for the Black-and-Red, delivered a beautiful left-footed service that slid through the penalty area, then caromed off Okugo’s head and by the outstretched arms of MacMath.

Philadelphia’s goal resulted from a set piece where former United midfielder Freddy Adu lobbed a useful ball toward the box. The service pin-balled to Carlos Valdes, who fired a shot that was headed well wide of United’s goal only to ricochet off United midfielder Perry Kitchen, right to Carroll. The former United midfielder poked it by United keeper Bill Hamid for his first goal of the season and sixth of his career.

In the 64th minute, it appeared United had their first goal, but referee Mark Geiger ruled MacMath was interfered with by Hamdi Salihi as he was reaching for the ball. Replays showed MacMath didn’t have control of the ball on the play and the call drew the ire of a majority of the 12,312 spectators in attendance.

Both goalkeepers loomed large in the first half with Hamid making two diving saves and MacMath stopping four quality chances.

D.C. United will now take on the red-hot Chicago Fire on Wednesday evening before heading north to take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday evening.

 

United Notes

– Dudar and Boskovic will be out the match on Wednesday due to their red card ejections. Most likely Dejan Jakovic will play central defense alongside Brandon McDonald with De Rosario filling in the central midfield role, as he did tonight to start the match.

– Lionard Pajoy started for United and played 57 minutes before being replaced by Boskovic. Ironically, Danny Cruz, whom he was traded for on Thursday, also started for the Union and was subbed out in the 57th minute. Head coach Ben Olsen said he was pleased with Pajoy’s performance but still needs to figure out his team mates tendencies.

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