Dwayne De Rosario of DC United celebrates his fourth goal of the 2013 US Open Cup against the New England Revolution. Photo: Tony Quinn | DC United
It was a complete performance for D.C. United at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday night as Ben Olsen’s side turned in a solid 3-1 win against the New England Revolution in the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup. The two-time champions now head to Chicago to face the four-time tournament champion Fire August 7 in a showdown of two clubs that are currently in the bottom three of the Eastern Conference.
Thunderstorms plagued the region all throughout Wednesday, causing a slippery pitch and fast playing conditions. The conditions played into United’s game plan, however, as D.C. played a very wide-open game with many chances and one-touch passing, attempting to break down the Revolution defense.
The night started out very well for the visitors as the Revolution piled on shots early, and United was almost caught by surprise by the speed of the Revolution attack on one occasion. In the 15th minute, United left Diego Fagundez unmarked at the left corner of the penalty area. Fagundez was left wanting, though, as his stellar curling shot clanged off of the right post and out of the goalmouth.
Second-string keeper Joe Willis proved to be vital in goal for the hosts as he saved three efforts in the first 20 minutes of the match. D.C. Started to find their own around this point, culminating with a Nick DeLeon shot that was parried by New England goalkeeper Matt Reis out for a corner. Chris Pontius had a breakaway only minutes later, and ended up scuffing the shot just wide of the open goalmouth.
In the 44th minute, the Revolution appeared to have a breakaway chance as Chad Barrett settled a through ball from Juan Toja and managed a shot on goal. However, the play was called back due to an offside call from the referee.
Less than 30 seconds later, DeLeon was fed a ball while running down the right wing from Chris Pontius. DeLeon slotted it back to Pontius at the top of the area, and despite a Revolution defender sliding in to knock it away, it landed at the feet of Pontius. The United striker then proceeded to unleash a venomous curling ball outside the reach of Reis that found the inside of the New England side netting to put the score at 1-0 just before halftime.
After the break, the Revolution adapted a high-pressure method of defense which caught United flat-footed as New England managed several shots at the beginning of the second half. In the 53rd minute, Juan Toja was fouled 26 yards outside of the D.C. goal. Toja took the free kick and unleashed a thrilling strike that dipped over the wall and hit the underside of the crossbar. The shot then bounced off of the back of a diving Willis and nestled itself in the net to settle the score at 1-1.
The tie would only last for 16 minutes, however, as Dwayne De Rosario headed home a corner kick from Chris Pontius in the 69th, tallying his fourth Open Cup goal two games after being named TheCup.us Player of the Round for his hat-trick two weeks ago. De Rosario received the ball at the right corner of the six-yard box and headed it into the underside of the crossbar on the left side, where it bounced into the goal to make the score 2-1 in United’s favor.
The win was finally secured in the 87th minute when Lionard Pajoy was dragged down in the Revolution box by Darrius Barnes. Pajoy stepped up and calmly slotted the kick to the left of a diving Reis to cement the final scoreline of 3-1.
After the game, United head coach Ben Olsen was asked what his goals were for the rest of the season. He made it clear that the league is still a priority and that all is not lost, despite only having two wins in the campaign so far.
“There’s only two more Open Cup games. We have belief. We’re going to try and move up in the league,” he said. “Crazy things happen. If you get on a little bit of a run, get a little luck your way, and you’re back in the hunt. We have belief.”
QUARTERFINAL – New England Revolution 1 :: 3 DC United
DC – Chris Pontius (unassisted) 44
NE – Juan Toja (unassisted) 53
DC – Dwayne De Rosario (Chris Pontius) 69
DC – Lionard Pajoy (penalty kick) 87
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez (Juan Agudelo 76), Andy Dorman (Kelyn Rowe 61), Scott Caldwell, Juan Toja, Chad Barrett (Lee Nguyen 80), Dimitry Imbongo
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Clyde Simms, Chris Tierney, Jerry Bengtson
STATS: Shots 5, Shots on Target 2, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 5, Fouls 12, Offsides 3
D.C. United: Joe Willis, Chris Korb, Conor Shanosky, Daniel Woolard, James Riley, Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, John Thorrington, Kyle Porter (Casey Townsend 54), Dwayne De Rosario (Lionard Pajoy 83), Chris Pontius (Taylor Kemp 74)
Substitutes Not Used: Bill Hamid, Brandon McDonald, Marcelo Saragosa, Carlos Ruiz