DC United Defeats Charleston Battery, 2-1; Wins First US Open Cup In Four Years
DC United ended Charleston's amazing run in the US Open Cup with a 2-1 victory in the final. The match took place on Wednesday night and was hosted by DCU at the RFK Stadium. Wednesday's match was a Brazillian affair as Emilio and Fred both scored to get United past the Battery.
The Black-and-Red came out into the match with their eyes fixed on scoring goals. In the fourth minute, United got the ultimate start by scoring a goal, complements of Emilio. Some DCU fans didn't even have time to find their seats. However, within a few more minutes, Emillio had to be substitued by Rod Dyachenko because of groin troubles.
The stadium was in a frenzy until the Battery shocked the fans once again. As the clock hit 10 minutes, the underdogs made some quick-thinking moves that got them an equalizer in the 10th minute, thanks to Charleston striker Ian Fuller.
For the rest of the first half, the match was anyone's to win. Both teams made decent attempts to score but neither team managed to score. The score was 1-1 at halftime.
In the second half, DCU came out with renewed vigor as they repeatedly went on the attack. In the 50th minute, their efforts were awarded when Simms allowed Fred to get past the Battery's backline and score easily. The score was now 2-1.
The visitors put DC under heavy pressure as they continually created scoring chances. However, none of their efforts were awarded.
Surprisingly, United star Moreno had a quiet night. His best chance of the night came in the 77th minute when he made a move for the goal. The Charleston defense was able to keep up with him though, and he failed to get a shot.
United were trying to keep hold of the ball to kill the clock and force the Battery to chase, but the red-clad lower division side remained energetic and were pouring forward with every possession, still keyed by Alonso and Alavanja but with second-half subs Aaron King and David Kenga adding speed and aggression to the mix.
Conversely, Soehn brought on playmaker Marcelo Gallardo in place of Dyachenko, essentially leaving Moreno alone up top as the home side looked for skill and composure in the center of the park.
It all made for an unusual sight: a conservative-minded United squad sweating out a narrow result on their home turf with a USL-1 side breathing down their necks.
The Battery continued to ask questions of DC right down to the wire, and even had an apparent stoppage-time goal waved off for offside, but on this occasion Cinderella simply ran out of time.
Referee Mark Geiger's full-time whistle brought forth a torrent of noise from the United faithful as their heroes took control of the Dewar Cup for the first time in 12 years with a 2-1 win.
After the match, head coach Tom Soehn said: "Getting a chance to run around with a trophy in front of our fans, who deserve it more than anybody, is a great feeling. 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."
As for DCU captain Jamie Moreno, this is just another addition to a winning tradition. This is United's 12th major honor since it's inception and Moreno has been there for each one. After the game he said:
"It's another one that goes in the case. They keep adding [up] and that's what we want, that's what we work for. It's a tradition. The team always tries to be in the big picture of big tournaments of MLS. ... Right now we're glad that this is over and we've got a championship."
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