Crew snaps DCU home streak

Crew snaps DCU home streak
March 23, 2013, 5:45 pm
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How it happened: With Dejan Jakovic out of the lineup for his Canadian National Team callup, United's defense struggled to keep Bill Hamid out of danger from a pressing Crew offense. Columbus struck first on a set kick delivered into traffic by Tyson Wahl in the 15th minute. After being forced to come out to play numerous balls, Hamid left the box to pluck this one as well but Josh Williams found it first and headed it into an empty net.

Six minutes later DCU would have the equalizer on a surprise strike from Rafael, which seemed to finally spark the black-and-red offense.

To DCU's luck, they managed to escape the first half with a draw, but their luck could not hold out in the second.

Left to fend for himself on a set piece once again, the Crew managed to find the back of United's net in the 59th minute when Ben Speas scooped up James Riley's scant clearing attempt and drilled an uncontested ball home for the game-winner.

Weathering the storm: Despite an early onslaught, Hamid allowed only one to go through on nine of Columbus' attempts, including eight from close range in the first half. Hamid was tested once again in the second, highlighted by a pair of unbelievable stops at pointblank range created by a Crew corner kick in the 54th minute. Columbus would break through on their next set kick just five minutes later as Ben Speas drilled home a rebound to put the Crew up 2-1. When all was said and done, Hamid made seven saves on nine shots on target, 17 attempts.

Welcome to D.C.: Rafael, in his first MLS appearance, scored the equalizer in the first half for D.C. United. Seven minutes after falling behind, Chris Pontius grabed a clearing attempt at midfield and played it to Rafael who quickly gained a step on his defender and blasted a long-range strike on target that sailed over Andy Gruenebaum’s head.

Play to the whistle: Pajoy, expecting to hear an offsides whistle blown at any point, let up on a ball traveling deep into Crew territory in the 22 minute. After no whistle comes however, Kyle Porter, in for his first DCU minutes, sped in to collect the loose ball and scorch one by Gruenebaum. After some deliberation between referees afterwards, however, the goal was ultimately waived off.

Streak Snapped: The loss snapped United's 19-game home unbeaten streak. Previous to today's match, DCU had not lost on their home turf since their 2012 home opener on March 10.

DeLeon injured: DCU's force at midfield and postseason darling, Nick DeLeon, left the match limping in the 27th minute after going down clutching his right leg. Porter entered in the 31st minute to sub in. The extent of DeLeon's injury is currently unclear.