WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several streaks came to an end Wednesday as D.C. United defeated Sounders FC, 2-1.
The result ended a six-game unbeaten steak for the Sounders, including back-to-back shutouts.
It ended their 3-0 run at RFK Stadium.
And it brought an emphatic end to United’s run of nightmarish defensive performances.
“I think we started out a little bit too flat, and we knew (D.C. United) was a team with their back against the wall,” Seattle midfielder Brad Evans said. “For us, we didn’t play as well as we did last week, especially as far as moving the ball and keeping the ball in possession in our attacking half of the field. We still created a number of chances, and it was just a matter of putting them away.”
D.C. had come into the game having given up eight goals over its previous two Major League Soccer matches and 11 over its last three competitions.
However, United kept Seattle off the scoreboard through the first 70 minutes. Then, the Sounders’ lone goal came on a penalty kick from Evans – his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Seattle threatened again after that, most notably from on-goal strikes by Alvaro Fernandez and Fredy Montero. However, D.C. keeper Bill Hamid acrobatically batted each over the crossbar.
That was enough to deliver the win after a pair of D.C. goals, each involving the combination of Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies.
“I think we played a team that was extremely motivated,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “(They) came out with a lot of energy, and we didn’t possess the ball well enough at times to take some of that steam out of the game in the first half. We were a little bit careless with the ball, and the goals we took were identical.”
United’s first goal came in the 31st minute when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado tried to cut off a pass from Andy Najar to Davies but missed, giving Davies plenty of space to work with behind him.
Davies caught up to the ball on right side of the penalty area, and just before Patrick Ianni arrived, he rolled it across the box to Wolff, who finished into the open left side from 6 yards away.
That ended a stretch of 268 scoreless minutes for the Seattle defense.
However, what proved to be the winning goal came just 21 minutes later, and this time it was Wolff who assisted Davies, who recorded his MLS-leading sixth goal of the season.
“We just gave (D.C.) two easy chances, and they finished them both,” Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. “... I thought we had been playing better than we played today, and that was a shame. In the end, give D.C. some credit: good movement up front with Charlie and Josh, and that made the difference.”
Down two goals, Schmid sent midfielder Mauro Rosales in for defender James Riley and moved his club to a 3-5-2 formation an effort to peck away at the lead.
The breakthrough came in the 71st minute when Dejan Jakovic knocked down Montero in the box.
Evans walked to the spot and scored his second penalty kick in as many games.
The Sounders threatened thereafter, but couldn’t get the equalizer past Hamid.
The result drops Seattle to 3-3-3 for the season. United climbs to 3-4-1.
“I really thought at 2-1 we would get the equalizer,” Schmid said. “Then Mauro Rosales pulls his hamstring, so the last 12 minutes he came in he’s just standing on the field and can’t move anymore. So now we’re playing 10 against 11, and they were able to hold on to the ball. So, we’re not happy, but we’ve got to move on and get ready for Columbus.”
The Sounders travel to Ohio, today, train there Friday and conclude this two-game trip against the Crew at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.