Gomez lifts United past San Juan Jabloteh

D.C. United remained alive in the CONCACAF Champions League as Christian Gomez's first-half penalty kick lifted United to a 1-0 win against San Juan Jabloteh at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad Tuesday night.The win, United's first-ever in the group stage, moved D.C. out of the Group B basement, while Jabloteh remains winless after three games.Last year, D.C. only managed a draw in six group stage matches.Gomez stepped to the spot after referee Trevor Taylor ruled Jabloteh defender Noel Williams handled a cross in the box after he slid in and tackled the ball away from Luciano Emilio. After a slight hesitation, Gomez scored low and to the right of Jabloteh goalkeeper Cleon John to give a shorthanded D.C. United squad a 1-0 lead on 14 minutes.Williams had time and space and tried to make up for his mistake, but his low shot from distance rolled wide to D.C. United goalkeeper Milos Kocic's right in the 21st minute.Four minutes later, Kocic came up big, making three saves at the near post, twice denying Lester Peltier. Moments later, Ataulla Guerra's attempt from 16 meters skipped wide of the far post for the hosts.Off a D.C. United giveaway in the midfield, San Juan Jabloteh's Jason Marcano lobbed the ball at the open net after Kocic came off his line, but Julius James did well to track back and clear the ball off the line in the 42nd minute.James also made a great recovery three minutes from full time after his bad touch allowed Peltier to run in on goal. The defender slid and blocked the shot to the right of Kocic. The ball rolled out for a corner kick, which didn't result in a dangerous chance for the hosts.In addition to Gomez, Emilio, one of the few first team players to make the trip, had a solid game for United. The Brazilian nearly added onto United's lead, but his low, hard shot from distance in the 64th minute eluded a diving Cleon John, but was just wide of the far post.In the 75th minute Jabloteh was given a golden chance to equalize when Taylor apparently ruled Kocic violated the six-second rule and the hosts had a free kick two yards inside the box. But Williams badly mishit his attempt from the top of the 18-yard box.One minute later, Devon McTavish played a great ball inside the area that Gomez latched onto, but John bobbled the shot before it was cleared away for the game's first corner kick.In the 83rd minute, Gomez played the ball over the top to Danny Szetela, who was unable to pull the trigger on a shot.D.C. United return home to RFK Stadium to play CD Marathon next Thursday, attempting to avenge a 3-1 loss in Honduras on the opening day of group play last month. Marathon and Mexico's Toluca are tied for first in Group B with six points apiece, ahead of their Thursday meeting in Mexico.D.C. United (1-2-0) vs. San Juan Jabloteh (0-3-0)CONCACAF Champions League – Group BSeptember 15, 2009 – Hasely Crawford Stadium Scoring Summary: DC – Christian Gomez (penalty kick) 14D.C. United – Milos Kocic; Devon McTavish, Julius James, Clyde Simms, Avery John; Danny Szetela, Rodney Wallace, Andrew Jacobson (John DiRaimondo 69), Chris Pontius, Christian Gomez (Ely Allen 90); Luciano Emilio (Tiyi Shipalane 78). Substitutes not used: Bill Hamid, Lawson Vaughn. San Juan Jabloteh - Cleon John; Dennis Lawrence, Anton Hutchinson (Willis Plaza 71), Noel Williams, Elton John, Joel Russell, Marvin Oliver (Jerrel Britto 62), Devon Jamerson, Lester Peltier, Ataulia Guerra, Jason Marcano (Cyrano Glen 84). Substitutes not used: Brian James, Elijah Manners, Clarence Abiola, Kern Cooper. Game statistics: DC – Shots: 4, Shots on goal: 2, Fouls: 9, Corner kicks: 2, Offsides: 4SJJ – Shots: 11, Shots on goal: 5, Fouls 3, Corner kicks: 3, Offsides: 3Misconduct Summary: DC – Christian Gomez 17DC – Milos Kocic 36Referee: Trevor Taylor