DC United fought to a convincing victory over Columbus Crew at home, snapping a three game winless streak at Audi Field. This match, a rematch of a tense 1-0 DC win at Columbus in late April, was much more lopsided towards the victors and could indicate the beginning of a better run of form for DC. They had previously earned seven points from their last five matches, dropping points against clubs that should not have given them such trouble. This most recent loss for Columbus marks their fifth in a row, but their impressive start to the season has kept them in the top six in the Eastern Conference despite their poor form.
The drama began almost immediately. After about 20 minutes of tense battling, Wil Trapp of Columbus seemed to win the ball in the midfield and played a streaking Pedro Santos into the box. Santos cleanly finished, and it looked as if his team had gone up 1-0 over the DC team that had spoiled their home match in Ohio just weeks before. However, much to the dismay of the Crew, the goal was called back after review showed that Trapp had fouled a DC midfielder in order to win the ball, keeping the match even at 0-0.
Just two minutes later in the opposing half, DC scored off of a set piece. Wayne Rooney played the ball into the penalty area. Leonardo Jara collected it and lost the ball, which found its way to the waiting feet of Luciano Acosta who rifled the ball past Zack Steffen to break the tie.
During first half stoppage time a penalty kick was awarded to DC United as a result of a handball by Wil Trapp, which was determined by VAR. Wayne Rooney stepped up to the penalty spot and delivered it just past the outstretched arm of Steffen. The first half ended with DC up 2-0, and it looked to be a tall task for Columbus to get themselves back into the game.
DC increased their lead by one more goal after a beautiful run from Leo Jara and a cheeky backheel pass to Paul Arriola opened up the opportunity for Arriola to put the ball in the back of the net, with the help of a deflection on the way.
DC were in total control for the remainder of the game except for a silly own goal where Bill Hamid was not able to catch a corner kick, accidentally deflecting the ball into his own net. The action died down for the remaining 15 minutes, and the game ended at that score of 3-1.
Images by Jisung Kim for The Sideline Observer.