Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

DC United 3, Riverhounds 1 Disappointing Finish Can't Mar Near- Perfect Night Size Is a Factor as D.C. Downs Riverhounds

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

DC United 3, Riverhounds 1 Disappointing Finish Can't Mar Near- Perfect Night Size Is a Factor as D.C. Downs Riverhounds

Article excerpt

The crowd still gave the Riverhounds a standing ovation.

Even though D.C. United (10-6-4) ultimately eliminated the home team from the U.S. Open Cup, winning, 3-1, Wednesday night at Highmark Stadium, the near-record crowd of 3,988 appreciated what the Riverhounds (6-5-4) had done for Pittsburgh soccer.

Playing host to a well-oiled MLS team in the modest Highmark Stadium, the Riverhounds put together an entertaining game with goals, penalty kicks, ejections and extra time to steal away a few more regular fans from the north side of the river.

"The crowd was unbelievable," midfielder Kevin Kerr said. "We went out to warm up, and there must have been a good thousand already sat down."

The fans came early and stayed late on a midweek night as only a few people left after D.C. United took the commanding lead in extra time.

D.C. United jumped to an early lead in the eighth minute from a corner kick deflected to forward Facundo Coria.

But the Riverhounds seemed to work out their nervous energy after that, quickly becoming the more dangerous team. Kerr drew a foul in the 24th minute to allow USL leading scorer midfielder Rob Vincent to slot home the penalty kick for the equalizer.

Despite myriad scoring chances, the score line stayed level through the second half. The most dramatic moment came in the 66th minute when the referee ejected United assistant coach Chad Ashton from the game for protesting some calls.

With two 15-minute periods of extra time looming, the Riverhounds players looked fatigued.

So, when United put away the go-ahead goal two minutes in from defender Kofi Opare's header off a corner kick, Kerr said it just further deflated the team. United midfielder Nick DeLeon added a header goal from open play about 10 minutes later to seal the win.

Kerr said size was an advantage for United, which scored all its goals off set pieces or headers. …

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