WASHINGTON – A Chris Pontius brace powered DC United to a comfortable 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night RFK Stadium.
Pontius tallied in first-half stoppage time to break a scoreless draw, then scored again during DC’s three-goal barrage in the second half to earn their first win at home since May 4.
DC improve to 7-6-9 with the win and have now won of their last three games, while Vancouver (3-12-9) are now winless in 13 games away from home in their expansion season.
Meeting for the first time ever in league play, DC seized the initiative on home turf, bossing possession but failing to create danger in the final third. The most United mustered on the Whitecaps frame were a handful of long shots within the first 30 minutes.
Slowly but surely, Vancouver crept their way back into the game, as a healthy Jay DeMerit and John Thorrington returned to the starting lineup. A Camilo free kick in the 40th minute needed a save from DC rookie goalie Joe Willis, who tipped the shot onto the crossbar. Whitecaps reached the rebound, but in the ensuing scramble they couldn’t find the back of the net.
Those misses proved costly, as DC scored right before halftime. Dwayne De Rosario was at the heart of the move, dancing in the right corner of the box past DeMerit, and his cross found a sliding Pontius at the back post.
Just two minutes after the half, DC doubled their lead. Santinto Quaranta sent a long, diagonal ball towards a streaking Andy Najar. De Rosario dummied towards the ball, drawing the Whitecaps defense, and Najar streaked along the end line. He fired a low shot that caught Jay Nolly by surprise and beat him between the legs.
Down 2-0, the visitors didn’t give up. Jonathan Leathers got forward on the left in the 65th minute, and sent in a low cross DC’s box that found Hassli at the back post – but his re-directed shot couldn’t beat Willis.
It wasn’t long before DC got a third. With Vancouver throwing numbers forward, United hit on the counter. Stephen King fired a shot that was deflected to Pontius, who roofed it for his second goal of the game in the 70th minute.
Even with a comfortable 3-0 lead, United kept pressing, and midfielder Stephen King stretched the lead to 4-0 in the 81st minute. De Rosario once again was at the heart of the play, getting forward on the right flank, sucking in the defense and finding King at the top of the box. He cut on to his left foot and drilled a left-footed shot past Nolly to punctuate the romp for DC.
DC -- Chris Pontius 6 (Dwayne De Rosario 7) 47+
DC -- Andy Najar 3 (Santino Quaranta 2) 48
DC -- Chris Pontius 7 (unassisted) 70
DC -- Stephen King 1 (Dwayne De Rosario 8) 81
Vancouver Whitecaps -- Jay Nolly, Jonathan Leathers, Michael Boxall, Jay DeMerit (Davide Chiumiento 62), Jordan Harvey, John Thorrington (Jeb Brovsky 70), Gershon Koffie, Peter Vagenas (Mustapha Jarju 71), Shea Salinas, Eric Hassli, Camilo.
Substitutes Not Used: Bilal Duckett, Michael Nanchoff, Long Tan, Joe Cannon.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Camilo 3, Eric Hassli 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Camilo 3); FOULS: 8 (John Thorrington 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Camilo 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Camilo 1, Shea Salinas 1); SAVES: 4 (Jay Nolly 4)
D.C. United -- Joe Willis, Perry Kitchen, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard, Santino Quaranta (Stephen King 63), Clyde Simms, Andy Najar (Austin Da Luz 74), Chris Pontius (Marc Burch 77), Dwayne De Rosario, Charlie Davies.
Substitutes Not Used: Blake Brettschneider, Ethan White, Josh Wolff, Steve Cronin.
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Dwayne De Rosario 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (3 tied with 2); FOULS: 13 (Dejan Jakovic 3, Andy Najar 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Dwayne De Rosario 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Andy Najar 2); SAVES: 6 (Joe Willis 6)
VAN -- Camilo (caution; Reckless Foul) 15
DC -- Brandon McDonald (caution; Dissent) 39
VAN -- Michael Boxall (caution; Reckless Tackle) 46+
DC -- Charlie Davies (caution; Dissent) 60
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: -George Gansner; Paul Scott
4th Official: Mark Declouet
Time of Game: 1:48