Allsopp's Brace Dooms Union Sunday
WASHINGTON — D.C. United finally ended their painful run of poor results on Sunday afternoon, riding a Danny Allsopp brace to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union to snare their first league win in more than two months.
The Union faithful traveled in numbers to the nation’s capital, with a boisterous contingent of the Sons of Ben nearly filling up one section of RFK Stadium’s upper deck. But their team was undone by some untimely mistakes as Manager Peter Nowak lost out in his first return to RFK since his three-year stint at the United helm from 2004 to 2006.
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The Union nearly opened the scoring in the 7th minute when Sebastien Le Toux -- who started the game on the left flank with Danny Mwanga in a more advanced role -- stung goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s fingers with a sharp half-volley.
Meanwhile, United wasted many of their early possessions with poor passing out of the back until the 22ne minute, when they provoked a dreadful error from the Philly defense to draw first blood. Dejan Jakovic advanced out of the back and played Andy Najar into space down the right flank. The young Honduran’s low cross to the back post caught Union center back Danny Califf in an awkward position facing his own goal. Califf played the ball as he fell, sending it right to Allsopp just outside the six-yard box, and D.C.’s Australian striker gratefully accepted the gift with a simple finish past Seitz to give a 1-0 United lead.
Morning showers had given way to sunshine before kickoff, but moments after the goal the skies darkened, then opened up, drenching the old stadium and fueling an uptick in the match’s tempo as the turf turned treacherous. The grounds crew had clearly not expected the weather, leaving the benches uncovered, so both teams’ equipment managers hastily handed out rain jackets in the sudden downpour.
The visitors adapted to the greasy conditions more rapidly, taking a stranglehold on possession in the final stages of the first half. Califf nearly atoned for his earlier miscue with a goalbound header off a 42nd-minute corner kick, but the shot was unwittingly blocked by teammate Fred.
Another costly Union error allowed United to double their advantage in the 62nd minute. Rookie midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, inserted in place of Eduardo Coudet just minutes earlier, was caught in possession by Santino Quaranta just inside the United half.
Quaranta set Najar loose down the right side and the teenager sent in another threatening low centering pass. Striker Pablo Hernandez cleverly stepped over the cross, freeing Allsopp with time and space to settle the ball and drill a left-footed finish into the right side of the net for his fourth goal of the season.
United nearly added a third in the 77th minute when Hernandez knocked a close-range finish past Seitz, but the Argentine’s strike was waved off for offside and the 2-0 lead stood as the final.
The victory snaps United’s eight-game winless streak, and gives interim coach Ben Olsen his first win since taking the reins from the fired Curt Onalfo.
For the Union, the loss extends a month-long winless drought.