September 3, 2008
United win s Open Cup
WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. United won their second Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory against the Charleston Battery at RFK Stadium.
|Fred’s goal in the 50th minute gave D.C, United a 2-1 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over the Charleston Battery.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
D.C. United substitute Fred scored the game-winning goal in the 50th minute, denying the Battery’s bid to become the first second division team to win since 1999. D.C. United last won the U.S. Open Cup in 1996 with a 3-0 victory vs. the Rochester Rhinos, with that match also at RFK Stadium.
“Getting a chance to run around with a trophy in front of our fans, who deserve it more than anybody, is a great feeling,” said D.C. United head coach Tom Soehn, who was a player for United when they won the Open Cup title in 1996. “You remember that stuff. There are a lot of things you forget but situations and moments like that you remember. You want to taste that again. I hope they all got a great taste of it because there are other things that we still have to accomplish.”
The hosts got on the board in the fourth minute, and it was Jaime Moreno setting things up with a remarkable back heel that sent Santino Quaranta to the fringe of the penalty area. Charleston’s John Wilson met Quaranta with a hard tackle, sending the D.C. midfielder tumbling, but the ball popped to the top of the penalty area where Luciano Emilio was able to curl his shot off the finger tips of Charleston’s Dusty Hudock and into the top corner.
Just minutes after Emilio tallied his team-high third goal of the tournament, the forward was replaced by Rod Dyachenko in the seventh minute due to an abductor strain.
Despite the early letdown, Charleston pushed forward and quickly evened the score on a counter-attack in the 10th minute. Defender Nelson Akwari sent a long, diagonal ball to Chris Williams on the right side. He quickly dribbled into the area and cut inside before leaving the ball behind for Ian Fuller to drive home from 16 yards inside the right post.
Fred provided D.C. with the lead in the 50th minute. Clyde Simms played a hard ball that got Fred in behind the Battery backline on the right side. He calmly took a few touches as he drove in on goal before finishing past Hudock at the near post.
Charleston had a chance to equalize with a pair of chances in the 58th minute. Alavanja had a deflected pass come right to his feet inside the area, but his shot was deflected out for a corner off Devon McTavish. On the subsequent corner, the ball was headed out to Alavanja at the top of the area and his volley also deflected out.
With 10 minutes remaining, Charleston turned up the dial and created a number of chances but to no avail. In the 86th minute, Alonso took control of the ball near the top of the penalty area before pushing it out wide for Domenic Spicer. After taking a settling touch, Spicer whipped the ball into the area finding Alonso who had streaked towards the near post, but his stretching header only got a small piece of the ball sending it wide left.
The Battery almost squeezed out the equalizing goal in the final moments of the game. After a free kick was cleared near the top of the box, the ball was sent back in snuck through the D.C. defenders and was left for a collection of Battery players near the six-yard box, but the offside flag was raised.