The Columbus Crew scored two second-half goals to overcome a 1-0 halftime deficit to send D.C. United to a second loss in four days and severely damaging their playoff hopes. The 2-1 loss leaves United at least 2 points out of the final playoff spot with only four matches left on the season. United will now have a chance to rest and hope to get some players back to full fitness for the final 4 games in 13 days to end the season.
Daniel Woolard surprisingly gave United a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute when he volleyed in Dwayne De Rosario’s free kick from 35 yards out. Woolard got behind the Crew defense and redirected the whipped in cross past a helpless William Hesmer. After the interval however United’s young defense would get exposed for the equalizer and the game-winner just 13 minutes apart. Columbus leveled the game after United continually failed to clear repeated Crew thrusts at goal. Finally, the ball landed on the foot of Peruvian striker Andres Mendoza who turned Perry Kitchen the wrong way and his awkward attempt at goal was pushed into the corner of the net when Woolard shanked the clearance.
Columbus got the game-winner on some really poor individual defending from both Santino Quaranta and Marc Burch along Columbus’ right flank. Defender Sebastian Miranda easily split the United duo and took off unmolested towards the goal. The Crew defender spotted Eddie Gaven making a run towards the penalty spot and his pinpoint cross met the diving forehead of Gaven who gave Bill Hamid no chance to save it.
United pushed forward frantically in the final half hour looking for the equalizer and nearly got it in the 94th minute when Andy Najar’s left-footed half volley easily beat Hesmer but did not beat the crossbar as it bounded out into the field of play and was easily cleared away.
United now has four games remaining and realistically will have to win at least 3 of them to give themselves a chance to move up the very close and crowded Eastern Conference table. United’s last road game will be on Wednesday, October 12th in Vancouver, British Columbia. United’s final three matches will be at RFK and they will definitely know what they need to secure a playoff position at that time.