D.C. United 3, Columbus Crew SC 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
With the games dwindling and the desperation level high for teams chasing the playoffs, D.C. United took a big step toward solidifying their spot in the Eastern Conference postseason picture by beating visiting Columbus Crew SC 3-0 Wednesday night in RFK Stadium.
Following a scoreless first half that had been dominated by Columbus, United's Lloyd Sam stunned the visitors in the 71st minute, taking a pass from Luciano Acosta in the box and faking a turn to his right foot, then reversing and cracking a left-footed strike past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark for the game-winner. Substitute Lamar Neagle added an insurance goal in the 86th minute and Alvaro Saborio added another in the 90th.
D.C.'s Bill Hamid was the much busier goalkeeper in the first half, but it was Crew SC's Clark who needed to make a Save of the Week candidate to keep D.C.'s Patrick Mullins' 31st minute header out of the net and keep the game scoreless entering halftime.
- 71’ – DC – Lloyd Sam (Luciano Acosta)
- 86’ – DC – Lamar Neagle (Julian Buescher, Patrick Nyarko)
- 90' – DC – Alvaro Saborio (Lamar Neagle)
- Full box score
1. BREATHING ROOM: This was the game in hand United had on the New England Revolution and they maximized it by taking all three points to open a four-point lead over the Revs for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Revs lost to Columbus on Sunday, so you could say D.C. took care of business where New England failed to do so.
2. NO GOLA FOR OLA: Ola Kamara entered the contest with five goals in Crew SC's last three games, two of which were wins. But the central defense pairing of Steve Birnbaum and Bobby Boswell smothered the Columbus striker, who had three shots in the game, only one on target.
3. DESPERATE TIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES: Just before D.C. got the lead in the 71st minute, Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter subbed defender Harrison Afful out of the game and replaced him with midfielder Hector Jimenez. Then, shortly after the goal, Berhalter took off defender Corey Ashe and replaced him with forward Adam Jahn, meaning Crew SC finished with just two starting defenders on the pitch.