D.C. United 1-Colorado Rapids 0
Sometimes all it takes is a little luck. After a summer of miserable fortune D.C. United received some help with the soccer gods on Saturday night. Thanks to an own goal and an incredible effort from Bill Hamid D.C. United snapped their nine game winless streak in a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
With Colorado playing their first match under new head coach Steve Cook and United still breaking in their new players both coaches went with conservative strategies in the first half. Set pieces and counter-attacks were all of the rage during the first forty-five with Colorado very nearly getting an early off of a free kick in the ninth minute. Center-back Axel Sjoberg climbed up to connect off a free kick taken by Shkelzen Gashi but it would just go wide of the net.
D.C. meanwhile would rely on the burgeoning partnership between Luciano Acosta and Paul Arriola to bring their attack alive. Driving back the Rapids center-backs in the 12th minute, Acosta would cooly lay in a pass to Arriola on the outside. The former Tijuana midfielders shot was on target but would be denied by Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard. On the subsequent corner kick United center-back Kofi Opare would have a good crack at goal but he was called for a foul.
“He looks much more comfortable and dangerous on the ball. As he plays more with the guys and settles in, he’ll continue to build relationships with the players around him,” said Olsen “He is a good soccer player and he’s willing to work on both sides. He’s composed, makes runs off the ball and is well-rounded player. We are lucky to have him.”
United would catch a break in the 28th minute when Rapids center-back Jared Watts would play back a pass to Howard. However, Watts caught him out of a position and forced the USMNT keeper to track to the own goal. Howard would get close but it was ultimately not enough to prevent disaster.
In the second half, United held on to their lead only with the most tenuous of grasps. Cooke placed the pressure on the patch work D.C. defense bringing in Josh Gatt, Alan Gordon, and Luis Gil to hit the back of the net. It nearly worked in the 60th minute with Gatt linking a pass into Kevin Doyle. Doyle’s pass to the near post would find Domnique Badji but Badji’s shot would be saved by Hamid.
Badji would connect with Doyle once again in the 88th minute with the Irish international lacing in another clever pass. Hamid would not prove to be Badji’s foil in this instance. However the iron would be unkind to him as his shot that appeared to be the equalizer would rattle off the post.
The victory snaps D.C.’s eight game winless run, breaking an ignominious streak that dates back to their 2-1 win over Atlanta United FC in late June. They will hope to continue their winning ways on Wednesday when they return home to host Atlanta (7pm EST Newschannel 8).
“The same as this week, we got to continue grabbing points every single week. Like I said, there is still hope,” said Hamid after the match. “The numbers haven’t canceled us out of the playoffs yet. Every week there has got to be a focus. We got to turn around now and focus on Wednesday and not get too high right now, that’s the biggest thing. Not get too high and focus on Atlanta on Wednesday.”
As for Colorado the loss extends their own winless run to six matches. They will travel to Portland on Wednesday to take on the Timbers (7pm PST Altitude).
D.C. United-Bill Hamid, Nick De Leon, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum (Jalen Robinson 87′), Sean Franklin, Russell Canouse, Marcelo, Lloyd Sam, Luciano Acosta (Jared Jeffrey 84′), Paul Arriola, and Patrick Mullins (Chris Korb 74′)
Yellow Cards-Acosta (79′) and De Leon (85′)
Colorado Rapids-Tim Howard, Eric Miller, Axel Sjoberg, Erik Watts, Marlon Hairston, Bismark Boateng (Luis Gil 64′), Michael Azira, Mohammed Saied (Alan Gordon 69′), Shkelzen Gashi (Joshua Gatt 69′), Kevin Doyle, and Dominique Badji
Goal-Watts (28′ o.g.)
Yellow Card-Watts (78′)
Total Shots: Colorado 18-D.C. 14
Shots on Goal-Colorado 4-D.C. 6
Offsides-Colorado 2 -D.C. 2
Fouls- Colorado 11- D.C. 10
Song of the match-“We didn’t start the Fire” Billy Joel
Golden Raccoon-Bill Hamid