An early golazo by D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario was cancelled out by a second-half equalizer from Bobby Convey as the bottom two teams in the Eastern Conference battled to a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium.
De Rosario’s world-class goal in the 10th minute stood until the 60th when winger Reggie Lambe sent a strong cross into the box that found Convey making the secondary run, for his first of the season.
The Reds (4-12-9, 21 points) and United (3-17-5, 14 points) saw their winless streaks run to three matches, but with an Open Cup final still to look forward to, United started the match with a noticeable amount of energy and intensified the pressure following Convey’s equalizer.
De Rosario’s goal was as surprising as it was spectacular. After Perry Kitchen played a ball to the Canadian from the midfield circle, DeRo settled it nicely with his left foot and cut back twice – the second time leaving Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio (who subbed out in the 34th minute) at a near stand-still. De Rosario then let loose on a wicked right-footed curler that beat Bendik into the upper 90. It was De Rosario’s third goal of the season and first since June 15, when he also scored against Toronto.
Bendik later exacted a bit a of revenge when De Rosario again tried to score from distance, this time with his left, but he was denied by Toronto’s ’keeper. Overall, Bendik made seven saves in a strong effort for the Reds, who were out-possessed, 61-39, but did come away with two good looks on goal by Andrew Wiedeman in the first half.
Former TFC midfielder Luis Silva – who has scored three goals in five matches since joining D.C. – nearly put United ahead in the 67th minute after his impressive volley at the end of a cross from Chris Korb was deflected away by Bendik. Shortly after, De Rosario delivered a tester off a free kick that Bendik dove to stop. In the 79th minute, Bendik came up big again and deflected away multiple attempts in traffic, including a point-blank attempt by Daniel Woolard.
Aside from Convey’s strike, Toronto’s attack was muted in the second half until Robert Earnshaw nearly slipped one by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, but his shot went wide.
United will travel to New York next Saturday for a match against the Red Bulls while Toronto welcome New England to BMO Field on Friday.