DC down Union on PKs in USOC play-in round

Back-and-forth battle sees Boskovic play the hero

BOYDS, Md. – D.C. United advanced in US Open Cup qualification rounds with a 4-2 win on penalty kicks over the Philadelphia Union after a 2-2 draw Wednesday evening at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

The two sides exchanged first half goals, and then went scoreless until extra time when DC defender Daniel Woolard gave his side the lead, smashing home off a goalmouth scramble. Not to be outdone, Philadephia’s Brian Carroll equalized from a corner kick in the 118th minute to force penalty kicks.

In penalties, Union forward Jack McInerney missed a spot kick, and DC goalie Bill Hamid saved one from Roger Torres, setting up United midfielder Branko Boskovic to seal the win. The Montenegrin obliged, sending his shot high to the right of Union goalie Faryd Mondragon.

The frenetic ending to the game was as sharp contrast to its slow start, as the two sides battled for possession in the midfield. Things picked up after the quarter-hour, and Philadelphia struck first in the 18th minute. A long throw-in from defender Sheanon Williams wasn’t properly cleared, and an unmarked Carlos Ruiz had time to settle and fire past D.C. goalie Hamid.

The home side sent numbers forward in search of an equalizer. United’s Andy Najar created a great chance, dribbling past Williams, only to see Faryd Mondragon snare his cross.

United eventually netted the equalizer a minute before halftime. Defender Ethan White had his shot blocked off a corner, forward Joseph Ngwenya pounced on the deflection and crossed the ball back in to an open Josh Wolff, who headed in from inside the six-yard box.

Each side had second half chances to take the lead. Sebastian Le Toux got behind the United defense on the left flank, and Hamid bobbled his low cross – though the DC defense was able to scramble clear.

Looking to break the deadlock, Najar almost gave DC the lead.

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Stephen King found Najar in space at the top of his box and the Honduran attacker unleashed a low shot inches wide of the far post. United kept the pressure on, as Branko Boskovic forced a save from Mondragon in the 78th minute.

Philadelphia answered back, and substitute Danny Mwanga tested Hamid in the 85th minute. A wild finish to regulation saw Philadelphia go down to ten men when Carlos Valdes was sent off two minutes later for his second yellow card, and Union rookie Michael Farfan cleared a Stephen King cross off the line.

Up a man in extra time, D.C. United dominated possession, and created the majority of scoring opportunities. Blake Brettschneider hit the post, and Mondragon was alert to save an Ngwenya opportunity setting up the wild finish in the game’s last fifteen minutes.

DC moves on to host the New England Revolution on Tuesday, April 26 at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm - buy tickets

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D.C. UNITED: Hamid; Barklage, White, Brasesco (Jakovic 41'), Woolard; Najar, King, Fred (Pontius 89'), Boskovic; Wolff (C), Ngwenya

Unused substitutes: Brettschneider, Morsink, Simms, Shanoksy, Willis

PHILADELPHIA UNION: Mondragon (C), Harvey, Valdes, Califf, Williams (Mwanga 73'), Nakazawa, Carroll, M. Farfan, Daniel (Roger Torres 66'), Le Toux, Ruiz (McInerney 80')

Unused substitutes: Holder, Richter, Pfeffer, Agorsor

SCORING SUMMARY

  • Philadelphia Union - Carlos Ruiz 18' (Williams)
  • D.C. United - Josh Wolff 45' (Ngwenya) | Video
  • D.C. United - Daniel Woolard 111'
  • Philadelphia Union - Brian Carroll 118'

Penalty Kicks:

  • Philadelphia Union - Le Toux - made
  • D.C. United - Pontius - made
  • Philadelphia Union - McInerney - miss
  • D.C. United - Barklage - made
  • Philadelphia Union - Torres - saved
  • D.C. United - Najar - made
  • Philadelphia Union - Nakazawa - made
  • D.C. Uniited - Boskovic - made

D.C. United - 4, Philadelphia Union 2

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:

  • Fred - caution 25'
  • Carlos Valdes - caution 39'
  • Dejan Jakovic - caution 70'
  • Carlos Ruiz - caution 73'
  • Carlos Valdes - second caution/ejection 86'
  • Piotr Nowak - ejection 118'

Referee: Andrew Chapin
Assistants: Eric Weisbord, Kevin Klinger
4th official: Michael Donovan
Attendance: 2,347