Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let's call them the Cardiac Kids

That seems to be the nickname of choice for D.C. United's so far this year, as this group of youngsters (over half the roster is under the age of 25) has now stolen 4 points in stoppage time over the last two matches. Following Ben Olsen's game-tying strike in the 91st minute to force a 1-1 draw with New England in the game prior, D.C. again came from behind Sunday against New York to get a result in added time.

After taking the lead on Rodney Wallace's first career goal in the 21st minute (Wallace, interestingly enough, beat former Maryland teammate and current New York defender Jeremy Hall to the ball on the play), United failed to capitalize on a number of opportunities before halftime. At the break, New York inserted Venezuelan playmaker Jorge Rojas, whose presence gave the Red Bulls life. Setting up strikes by Juan Pablo Angel in the 68th minute and Dane Richards in the 74th, Rojas looked like he had led New York to victory.

But Santino Quaranta's expertledly served onetime ball from the left side found Luciano Emilio in the 90th minute, whose shot glanced off the bottom of the crossbar before crossing the line and tying the game 2-2. Then, less than two minutes later, a major miscommunication between New York defender Alfredo Pacheco and goalkeepr Jon Conway allowed D.C. substitute Boyzzz Khumalo to sneak in and collect a seemingly harmless ball sent into the box by Marc Burch. Khumalo shanked his shot as he fell off balance, but Pacheco slipped as well, at which point D.C. rookie Chris Pontius dashed into the box to slot the ball into an empty net.

The dramatic strike gave D.C. a 3-2 victory, its first on the road this year. Barring a play-off rematch, it marked the last time D.C. will ever have to play on the concrete turf of Giants Stadium, as the Red Bulls are moving in a new, soccer specific stadium next season.

Here are the highlights from the game. For fans of overly enthusiastic Spanish-language commentary, they are a must-see.

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