D.C. edges Minnesota, gains in East playoff chase
WASHINGTON, D.C. — United rallied for a crucial 2-1 home win Wednesday night, Sept. 12, beating Minnesota United to boost their MLS Eastern Conference playoff hopes.
The game was the first of seven straight at home for D.C. (9-11-7, 34 points), which pulled within two points of the sixth and final postseason position in the East.
Minnesota (9-16-2, 29 points) saw its distant chance at making the Western Conference playoffs all but disappear with the loss.
The game-winner came in the 69th minute — the second D.C. goal in four minutes — when Darren Mattocks took a pass from Joseph Mora and first-timed it home from short distance for a 2-1 lead.
Minnesota struck first in the 47th minute. Angelo Rodriguez controlled the ball on the left side of box and got off a shot that was deflected back to him. Staying calm, Rodriguez collected the rebound and slotted it home for a 1-0 lead and his first MLS goal.
D.C. drew even in the 65th minute on a goal from Ulises Segura. The midfielder had the ball with his back to the goal 16 yards out, crossing paths with teammate Wayne Rooney. Segura kept it, spun and fired a shot that seemed to catch Minnesota goalie Bobby Shuttleworth by surprise to tie it 1-1.
Rooney, the all-time leading scorer for the English national team, has always been a danger for his setups as well as his scoring. In the first half alone, Rooney made brilliant passes to his teammates many times, but D.C. was unable to convert.
Minnesota had very few chances in the first half but may have had the best opportunity in the 32nd minute. Darwin Quintero possessed the ball 20 yards out from the D.C. goal and launched a left-footed swinger that was barely saved D.C. goalie Bill Hamid.
Hamid finished with three saves in the win. Shuttleworth stopped five shots.