On a night where D.C. United were less than impressive coming off a two-week break, the Black-and-Red managed to steal a 1-0 victory over the hapless Philadelphia Union. The Union (2-8-2 8 pts) were playing their first match after the firing of Peter Nowak during the midweek and were by far the more aggressive team on the night and were unfortunate not to take advantage of a rare off night for United.
Chris Pontius’ goal off of another brilliant free kick from Branko Boskovic in the 78th minute was the difference and kept United (9-4-3 30pts) in first place for another week in the Eastern Conference. United has won four games in a row after struggling for over three seasons to even put back-t0-back wins together. The goal was the sixth of the season for Pontius who was making his first league appearance since early May due to an injury to his backside. Boskovic once again provided the key spark for United when he subbed in for the ineffective Maicon Santos midway through the second half. To be fair to Santos, not a single player for United stood out on a night where there was no cohesion and the “new coach bump” for Philadelphia was in full effect.
Boskovic’ free kick was whipped perfectly over the wall to Pontius who ran on to the ball at the back post for an easy tap-in. On the evening United created very few chances and were just a step off and were fortunate not to go behind if not for a few sparkling saves from Bill Hamid. Hamid’s save on a Carlos Valdez header in the 86th minute preserved the win for United.
United’s next opponent will be another Eastern Conference rival when they travel to Harrison, New Jersey to take on the Red Bulls on Sunday, June 24th.