Dave Johnson: United Falls Hard In Columbus

Dave Johnson: United Falls Hard In Columbus
June 27, 2010, 1:53 am
Share This Post

Saturday, June 26, 2010 9:43pm
By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comColumbus, Ohio---In the afternoon the dream ended for the US National Team in South Africa. In the evening the reality of league play resumed for DC United in the harshest of ways in a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew.Riding an unbeaten run of six matches in all competitions, DC United played with confidence and conviction from the opening kickoff, but that bright start took a dark turn in the 57th minute when Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored a controversial goal.Emilio Renteria, who had created problems all night for United, set the stage for Schelottos goal when he able to storm into the box and lift a shot over sliding United goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Renterias shot then ricocheted off the far post.
Schelotto has a knack for being in the right position and was at that far post where he then settled the ball, but appeared to use his hand before firing it past Perkins. Television replays of the goal confirmed Schelottos use of his hand that was shades of Thierry Henry when he scored for France against Ireland in World Cup qualifying. I dont want to talk about the call because I will get fined, said United head coach Curt Onalfo. I thought we had three of four big time chances in the first half and you have to bury them. Its that simple.As far I am concerned we had the opportunity in our hands and we let it slip away with our inability to put the ball in the back of the net, Onalfo added. It could have been a much different game if we scored early regardless of what happened on that first goal for Columbus.In an effort to salvage something out of the game United introduced attacking players Jamie Moreno and Danny Allsopp as substitutes, but the precise quality in the final third necessary failed to materialize.In the 87 the minute defender Eric Brunner sealed Uniteds fate when he was left unmarked and scored on a corner kick. Brunner stormed the far post and poked home a flicked headerby Steven Lenhart off a beautiful corner from Schelotto.The Crew could have added to the score when Lenhart was tripped in the box in stoppage time, but his penalty kick was driven right at Perkins. Still the Crew goals punctuated a more aggressive second half when they outshot United 15-4.It was a different story in the first half when United were the more connected team. Midfielder Chris Pontius tested Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer just thirty three seconds into the match. Pontis and Santinio Quaranta were particularly active in the opening 45 minutes with Adam Cristman also getting involved.Controversial or not, the Crews first goal seemed to make Uniteds encouraging start to the match seem like a distant memory. It also brought back memories of Uniteds 1-8 start to the season when they often were competitive, if not the better team, until conceding the first goal.