Sometimes it’s better to have a little luck, and a tremendous goalkeeper, on your side to stop a slump.
D.C. United used a deflected shot and a penalty to score twice before Bill Hamid made a few key saves to preserve a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.
Jose Guillermo Ortiz and Luciano Acosta scored a goal each to put United up by two goals at the half, but the Union responded once C.J. Sapong entered the field. The former Sporting Kansas City man scored his third goal in three games, but could not get a second past Bill Hamid.
D.C.’s scoreless run to start the season ended at 198 minutes, as Jose Guillermo Ortiz knocked a shot off Richie Marquez and into the back of the net. The play was created after Fabinho played a poor pass from Andre Blake with his upper body. Lloyd Sam scooped up the turnover on the right wind and fed the Costa Rican for his first MLS tally.
The Black and Red continued to push after the opening score, and they gained a second breakthrough in the 26th minute, when Marquez was whistled for a handball just inside the penalty area.
Luciano Acosta stepped to the spot and bounced in his first strike since August 27, 2016 to hand United a two-goal advantage against a visiting Union side that looked out of sorts in the opening 45 minutes.
The Union created a few chances in the second half before finally breaking onto the scoreboard in the 71st minute by way of substitute Sapong, who took advantage of Bill Hamid’s failure to fully collect the ball in the middle of the box.
Sapong continued to be the catalyst of the Union attack in the final 20 minutes of the contest, but the Union were unlucky not to beat Hamid, who delivered his best save of the game in the 79th minute on Sapong from close range. Two minutes after Hamid’s incredible point-blank denial, Oguchi Onyewu’s header off a corner was nodded off the line.
The Union will return home in Week 6 to play the Portland Timbers at the start of a three-game homestand, while D.C. welcome New York City FC to RFK Stadium in a week’s time.
Man of the Match
As he has been on countless occasions in the past, Bill Hamid was the top man on the field for D.C. The U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper made a pair of clutch saves in the second half to preserve the lead.
Moment of the Match
Sapong looked to have his second goal in eight minutes as he cut to his right in the 79th minute, but Hamid made himself big and kept United in front.
Match to Forget
Richie Marquez had the first goal deflect off him at the top of the box, and then he conceded a penalty with his handball in the 26th minute. Jay Simpson also put together a porous 59 minutes for the Union at forward.