Andy Najar
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USOC: United get the better of Dallas

D.C. United held off FC Dallas’second-half rally in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match at RFK Stadium on Wednesdaynight, riding an Adam Cristman double to a 4-2 victory that sees theBlack-and-Red advance to the next round of MLS qualifying for the nation’soldest tournament.

D.C. and Dallas had only scored eightgoals between them in their first month of league play, yet the two teamsdefied that statistic with a helter-skelter, end-to-end display that featuredsix goals in the first 60 minutes.

United raced out to a dream startwhen Adam Cristman floated in behind the Dallas defense and latched onto AndyNajar’s diagonal ball just five minutes in, chipping a tidy finish over Hoopsgoalkeeper Kevin Hartman at the top of the penalty box to give the home side a1-0 lead.

The Black-and-Red celebrated joyously, and with good reason:Cristman’s goal gave the team its first lead of the 2010 season.

Though the visitors looked more creative in the run of playand enjoyed most of the first-half chances, they found themselves two goalsdown six minutes before halftime when Hartman was victimized by a long-rangefree kick from Christian Castillo. Hit from some 40 yards out, the Salvadoranwinger’s inswinging delivery was intended for a teammate’s head, but BrandonBarklage elected not to flick the ball on and the Dallas goalkeeper could notreact in time as it squirmed under him to hand D.C. a 2-0 advantage.

Dallas rookie Jason Yeisley saw an attempt gloved by D.C.’keeper Perkins mere minutes into the second half and United took advantage,quickly scoring a third as Cristman drifted wide right to curl an excellentcross for Najar to drill home at the far post.

But the joy around RFK was short-lived as the D.C. defensesoon let the Hoops back into the game. First Rodney Wallace was too slow toclose down Bruno Guarda at the top of the box, giving the Brazilian time totuck a low drive inside the far post to run the score to 3-1. Minutes laterAtiba Harris jinked between Wallace and Devon McTavish inside the area,prompting the latter to nudge him to the turf with referee Chris Penso quick topoint to the spot.

Halftime sub Dax McCarty sent Perkins the wrong way on theensuing penalty kick and FCD found themselves back in contention—only tosurrender another goal just short of the hour mark. Running onto substituteClyde Simms’ lofted pass, Cristman again got the better of Hartman, outracingthe veteran ‘keeper and flicking a header into the unguarded net for his secondof the evening.

Chastened by the Hoops’ near-comeback, D.C. settled down inthe final stages as veterans Jaime Moreno and Santino Quaranta came off thebench to marshal possession and help kill off the game.

FC Dallas vs. D.C. United
April 28, 2010 -- RFK Stadium
U.S. Open Cup play-in game

Scoring Summary:
DC -- Adam Cristman (Andy Najar) 4
DC -- Christian Castillo (unassisted) 39
DC -- Andy Najar (Adam Cristman) 51
DAL -- Bruno Guarda (unassisted) 52
DAL -- Dax McCarty (penalty kick) 57
DC -- Adam Cristman (Clyde Simms) 59

FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu (George John 46), Anthony Wallace, Edson Edward, Zach Loyd, Eric Alexander (Dax McCarty 46), Bruno Guarda, Brek Shea, Atiba Harris (Heath Pearce 65), Eric Avila (Andrew Wiedeman 76), Jason Yeisley.Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cunningham, David Ferreira, Dario Sala.

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Brek Shea 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Dax McCarty 2); FOULS: 13 (Eric Avila 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Heath Pearce 1); SAVES: 1 (Kevin Hartman 1)

D.C. United -- Troy Perkins, Jordan Graye, Devon McTavish, Carey Talley, Rodney Wallace, Andy Najar, Kurt Morsink (Clyde Simms 56), Brandon Barklage (Santino Quaranta 63), Christian Castillo (Jaime Moreno 75), Adam Cristman (Tiyi Shipalene 86), Thabiso Khumalo.Substitutes Not Used: Lyle Adams, Barry Rice, Bill Hamid.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Adam Cristman 3, Andy Najar 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Adam Cristman 2, Andy Najar 2); FOULS: 15 (6 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Adam Cristman 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Christian Castillo 3); SAVES: 5 (Troy Perkins 5)

Misconduct Summary:
DC -- Kurt Morsink (caution; Reckless Tackle) 21
DC -- Rodney Wallace (caution; Reckless Foul) 28
DAL -- Anthony Wallace (caution; Reckless Foul) 67
DAL -- Edson Edward (caution; Reckless Foul) 72

Referee: Chris Penso
Referee's Assistants: -Adam Wienckowski; Corey Parker
4th Official: Bryan Roslund
Attendance: 2,804
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-57-degrees