Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports
By AARON CRANFORD
In just four minutes, D.C. United found itself in a deep hole Sunday, but the team’s new forward pairing led an impressive comeback charge, winning, 3-2, against the Philadelphia Union.
The visitors scored two goals in under four minutes at RFK Stadium to put D.C. United in trouble, but the home side crawled itself out and responded. Alvario Sabario scored his first goal for his new club, Nick DeLeon reacted quickly for a second and Fabian Espindola’s decisive second-half header provided the victory.
The win is the franchise’s eighth of the season at home, putting D.C. United atop of the Eastern Conference with 38 points.
C.J. Sapong only needed 21 seconds to start things off for the Union. The forward netted his seventh goal of the season after Cristian Maidana sent in a cross to the top of the box from the left side.
And the Union wasted no time in finding their second three minutes later. Sebastian Le Toux was the beneficiary this time around.
It looked to be the start of a long afternoon for D.C. United in the nation’s capital, and a missed penalty kick in the 33rd minute compounded the uneasy feeling. Espindola skied his effort over the top-left corner.
The home side found one of its own before halftime, though. Saborio, who just moved to D.C. via a trade from Real Salt Lake, was sitting at the back post, where he calmly slotted home a pinpoint pass from the right flank by Chris Korb in the 37th minute.
And in the 66th minute, D.C. found the game-tying goal. Nick DeLeon pounced on a shot that was parried right into his path by Union goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre.
Against the run of play, Sapong almost found the game-winner for the Union in the start of the 78th minute, but his effort was denied by the post.
D.C. United took advantage of the missed Union opportunity and grabbed the outright lead in the 79th minute. Korb was the provider again, sending this cross in from the right and finding Espindola at the back post to finish.
While D.C. United will try to improve upon its result against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the Union head home the same day to host the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park.