United's Champions' Cup dream ends

D.C. United saw their dream of a trip to the FIFA Club World Championship put to an end after they were overcome by Mexico's Pumas UNAM 5-0 in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinal series on Wednesday night at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario.

Pumas dominated play from the opening minutes and the majority of the match saw the ball in the United area. As early as the sixth minute the home side had already demonstrated its intention through dangerous corner kicks and incursions on the flanks.

That's how they struck in the 11th minute as Diego Alonso broke down the left-hand flank and put in a perfect cross for Bruno Marioni. He easily eluded Bobby Boswell and knocked a clear header home from the heart of the penalty area.

D.C. United showed signs of life in the 16th minute through a tremendous shot from Alecko Eskandarian from outside the area that came back off the base of the left-hand post of the goal guarded by Sergio Bernal. Three minutes later Pumas nearly responded with a shot on goal from Argentinian striker Alonso which was neatly turned aside by United 'keeper Nick Rimando.

The game began to be played more and more in the visitors' area and their desperation began to be more noticeable as the danger closed in on Rimando's goal. In the 35th minute, Ailton Da Silva let fly with a powerful drive from outside the penalty area that flew directly into the arms of the goalkeeper.

The shots flying at the United goal started to be repeated every minute, while the fouls from the U.S. side were increasing, including a seemingly clear handball in the area that referee José Pineda of Honduras didn't catch that would have been a penalty in favor of the Mexican champion.

With barely a minute of the second half played, Israel Castro threatened the United goal with a fierce shot that Rimando rejected with both hands. But a minute later Joaquin Botero received a pass from Marioni, rounded Boswell and pulled the goalkeeper out of his net before knocking the ball home for the second Pumas goal.

The United defensive line was put on their heels throughout the night trying to defend against the constant attacks of Hugo Sanchez's pupils, and things got even worse in the 68th minute when Mike Petke was sent off for a second yellow card offense after a heated discussion with a referee's assistant following a foul on the touchline.

Botero hammered a shot off the face of the crossbar before he put home the third Pumas goal in the 73rd minute, also from a service from Marioni.

As the result and the altitude began to take hold United saw their spirits flag, and Pumas took advantage one more time in the 85th minute when Jaime Lozano sent a pass to David Toledo who sealed the triumph with a fourth goal. Nevertheless, the home side continued their relentless attack and a minute before the final whistle rounded off the scoreline when Botero provided the pass for a final goal from Lozano.

Pumas won the series 6-1 on aggregate and will now face Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa for the championship of the CONCACAF region and the ticket for the Club World Championship, to be played in Japan this December. The Costa Rican side destroyed the dream of the all-Mexican final when it won 5-3 in a penalty kick shootout after Saprissa and CF Monterrey finished Wednesday's second leg tied 1-1, the series tied 3-3 on aggregate.

MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Joaquín Botero (Pumas)

Pumas vs. D.C. United

April 13, 2005 - Estadio Olimpico Universitario


Pumas - Bruno Marioni (Diego Alonso) 12

Pumas - Joaquín Botero (Bruno Marioni) 47

Pumas - Joaquín Botero (Bruno Marioni) 73

Pumas - David Toledo (Jaime Lozano) 85

Pumas - Jaime Lozano (Joaquín Botero) 89

Pumas - Sergio Bernal, Joaquín Beltrán (Hugo Sánchez 82), Darío Verón, Israel Castro, Gonzalo Pineda,
Jaime Lozano, Fernando Espinosa, Ailton Da Silva (David Toledo 72), Joaquín Botero, Diego Alonso,
Bruno Marioni (Joaquín del Olmo 75)

Substitutes not used: Alejandro Palacios, Efraín Velarde, Ismael Iñiguez, Marco Antonio Palacios

Technical director: Hugo Sánchez

D.C. United - Nick Rimando, Bobby Boswell, David Stokes, Mike Petke, Nick Van Sicklen (Freddy Adu 58), Christian Gomez (Clyde Simms 72), Ben Olsen (Jamil Walker 82), Brian Carroll, Josh Gros, Jaime Moreno,
Alecko Eskandarian

Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Steve Guppy, Kenny Arena, Santino Quaranta

Head coach: Peter Nowak


DC - Mike Petke (caution) 29'

Pumas - Ailton Da Silva (caution) 41'

DC - Ben Olsen (caution) 44'

DC - Mike Petke (expulsion) 68'

Referee: José Pineda (Honduras)
Referee Assistants: Francisco Ramírez, Ramón Muñoz
Fourth Official: Jorge Gasso
Attendance: 21,000
Weather: Cloudy, 21ºC

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