D.C. United earned their first road win at Orlando City Stadium since May 19, 2018, against San Jose. The Black-and-Red knew it was going to be a tough match from their last trip to Orlando that ended in a 1-1 draw on March 3, 2018. Steve Birnbaum and Wayne Rooney got on the board within the first 30 minutes and then continued to hold off the Lions only to concede the first goal of the season.
Birnbaum nailed a header into the right corner of the goal off a set piece to score in the sixth minute to finish his first of the season for United. This lead gave DCU the momentum and the advantage to earn their first win on the road since May 2018.
Just 24 minutes later Rooney was fouled outside the 18 in the left corner by Orlando’s Dom Dwyer. Rooney took the free kick and it spun perfectly into the far corner of the goal to give DCU a 0-2 advantage. For the remainder of the first half, the Black-and-Red dominated the offensive side of the field.
After the half, United came out firing in the early stages of the second. In the 49th minute, Rooney took the ball down the left wing and feathered a pass to Luciano Acosta. The midfielder took a quick shot just outside the box but the ball rose over the bar and the score remained 0-2. Júnior Moreno nearly gave the Black-and-Red a three-goal lead in the 53rd minute. The ball was played in from the right wing and it ricocheted its way to Moreno on the 18-yard line, he struck the ball well but it smashed off the post.
Dom Dwyer scored in the 67th minute with a well-timed header. Chris Mueller played a cross back into the box and Dwyer rose up and powered it home, scoring the first goal against Bill Hamid this season.
United were put under pressure by the Lions in the final 15 minutes of the contest. Hamid was called into action in the 83rd minute. Dwyer found space just outside the box and ripped a shot to Hamid’s left post. The Annandale native shifted to his left and blocked the shot away, to maintain the 1-2 lead. The Black-and-Red put together a gutsy defensive performance in the second half and saw out the 1-2 victory over the Lions.
With the victory, United continues its reign at the top of the eastern conference with 10 points and a plus-eight goal differential. United will be in the action on April 6, 2019, in Washington, D.C., as they take on LAFC, you won’t want to miss this one. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!