D.C. United (6-3-2, 20 points) beat the Columbus Crew (4-6-1,13 points) at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, 3-1. Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney scored in the first half and Paul Arriola added a third goal in the 61st minute of the match.
The Columbus Crew came out with a strong attack, and in the 22nd minute, they thought their high pressure had paid off. The Crew ran the ball downfield and Pedro Santos slid the ball into the near corner to put the Crew up 1-0. But referee Ted Unkel decided to consult the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and disallowed the goal because of a foul before the shot.
Moments after the disallowed goal for Columbus, D.C. United had a free kick in their attacking half. They sent the ball into the box and after a scramble in front of the goal involving D.C. United defender, Leo Jara, Acosta collected the ball and slammed the rebound into the back of the net for the opening goal of the match.
During stoppage time at the end of the first half, the ball bounced off the arm of a Columbus Crew midfielder, Will Trapp. After consulting VAR, Unkel decided to award United the penalty. Wayne Rooney stepped up to take the kick and beat goalkeeper Zack Steffen for the Black-and-Red’s second goal of the night. D.C. finished the first half with a 2-0 lead.
At the beginning of the second half, D.C. United added a third goal. Leonardo Jara robbed the Columbus Crew of the ball and stormed down the field. Using a sneaky backheel he slipped the ball behind him, setting up, an awaiting Arriola to send the ball toward Steffen. With a fortunate deflection off a Columbus defender, the ball hit the back of the net and the Black-and-Red went up 3-0.
In the 75th minute, the Crew got one goal back. Columbus sent the ball into the box, curling towards goal. Bill Hamid jumped up to get the ball, but it went through his hands and into the back of the net, resulting in an own-goal.
The two teams went back-and-forth for the final fifteen minutes, but in the end, D.C. United were able to hold onto their 3-1 lead, securing another three points at home and effectively sweeping the Crew in the regular season. They will return to Audi Field on Sunday, May 12th to take on Sporting Kansas City.