Hat trick gives United win over Philadelphia
Dwayne De Rosario broke out of a scoring drought with a hat trick to give D.C. United its first win in three months, a 3-1 triumph over the Philadelphia Union in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
After scoring in the 24th and 75th minutes, De Rosario capped off a stellar night before 2,325 at Maryland SoccerPlex in the 85th minute by jumping on a turnover with Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath nowhere to be found, finding an open net from 40 yards.
The victory, United's first since its MLS regular season home opener on March 9, sent D.C. through to a quarterfinal clash with New England at SoccerPlex on June 26.
Having scored just once all season, De Rosario tallied his second goal on a feed from Lionard Pajoy after Amobi Okugo turned the ball over outside the Philadelphia penalty area.
MLS leading scorer Jack McInerney needed barely 30 seconds to cut United's lead in half. But the Union were undone by the same kind of mistakes that harmed United in a 3-2 loss to their closest MLS neighbors in April.
The Union allowed United to dictate possession throughout the first half. But unlike the error-filled contest at RFK, D.C. was crisp and composed on the ball while the Union stumbled.
United's combination play down the sideline produced a number of crosses, but it was a loose ball that resulted in the game's first goal. As Okugo dragged down Chris Pontius 25 yards from goal, the ball popped out to De Rosario, who one-timed a blast around outstretched MacMath to put United in front.
Okugo tangled more than once with United's attackers, thrown to the ground in a tussle with D.C. forward Casey Townsend in an encounter that surprisingly didn't produce a yellow card. Okugo himself then was cautioned after a stiff body check on Pontius.
It was the second violent play in two minutes for Pontius, who'd tumbled to the crowd after a head collision moments before. The clash with Okugo left him seated on the ground, and he was replaced by Sainey Nyassi just as the halftime whistle blew.
Philadelphia didn't have a shot on goal until McInerney's skipping effort from 30 yards in the 72nd minute.