Rains throughout the previous two days left the pitch at RFK Stadium soggy, slick and damp, but United defended their 12-match home unbeaten streak in international competition easily, handing C.D. Municipal a 6-0 defeat on Wednesday night.
"I'm very happy for these youngsters," said United Head Coach Peter Nowak. "They showed up today and had a great mentality and actually could play. If you believe in them and give them a chance, they still believe in the work we do and they still believe in what they can do and how they can perform."
United created the first dangerous chance of the match, as Jason Thompson dribbled into the right side of the box and crossed the ball to Nana Kuffour, but the final touch wasn't there.
United worked a nice build up in the 13th minute that led to the first strike of the match. Kuffour dribbled into the far corner of the penalty area, finding Eliseo Quintanilla with a deft backheel. After switching the point of attack to the right side, Tim Lawson atoned for an earlier miscue -- which nearly gifted a goal to the visitors -- with a wonderful ball that fell right at the feet of Quintanilla, who showed that his striker's touch was still intact as he threaded the ball through a crowded six-yard box into the net.
Municipal had been holding the aggressive runs of United's forward tandem in check with an aggressive offside trap, but the Black-and-Red forward tandem found space that led to the second tally of the match a mere four minutes after the first. Dema Kovalenko played a ball just over the head of his marker, finding an onrushing Santino Quaranta, coming from a withdrawn position. Quaranta drew the goalkeeper and defender towards him, only to slip the ball wide to Thompson who calmly pushed the ball home.
Troy Perkins made an unexpected visit to the scoresheet in the 30th minute, as United showed that they could play Route One football equally as well as with a build-up through the midfield. Perkins sent a long goal kick deep into the attacking third. Thompson flicked the ball on to Quaranta, who buried the ball past a helpless Paulo Motta.
United would add a fourth goal in the 36th minute, as David Stokes found himself free in the penalty box to nod in a curling Quintanilla service. The Black-and-Red would go into the locker room up by a comfortable four-goal cushion.
As the teams returned to the pitch for the second half, both teams made four substitutions. United added a fifth goal in the 55th minute, as Quaranta found himself again at the end of a nice build-up. He buried the goal past Motta, who would mercifully be substituted in the 57th minute. Quaranta himself came off two minutes later, to a well-deserved ovation.
Although D.C. United had a comfortable lead, Municipal continued to press throughout the final half-hour of the match. And though Municipal created several attacking chances, the deadlock was never seriously threatened as a majority of the Rojos' shots sailed high or wide of the target. In the 75th minute, the visitors from Guatemala found their best chance of the second stanza, but Perkins came flying across the goalmouth, getting his fingertips to the ball to send it wide.
The Rojos continued to valiantly press, finishing the match with 14 shots, most of them coming in the final 20 minutes. It would be United though, that had the final strike on the evening, as they added an exclamation point in stoppage time with a Christian Gomez penalty.
United moves to 14-1-4 at home against all international competition and will return to league play this Saturday as they travel to the Meadowlands to challenge the MetroStars with both a playoff berth and bragging rights in the Atlantic Cup on the line.
DC - Eliseo Quintanilla (Tim Lawson, Kevin Ara) 13
DC - Jason Thompson (Santino Quaranta, Dema Kovalenko) 17
DC - Santino Quaranta (Jason Thompson, Troy Perkins) 30
DC - David Stokes (Eliseo Quintanilla) 36
DC - Santino Quaranta (Joshua Gros, David Stokes) 55
DC - Christian Gomez (penalty kick) 91+
C.D. Municipal: Paulo Motta (Ronald Zavala 57), Javier Gonzalez (Jacinto Zorilla 46), Pablo Melgar, Selvyn Ponciano (Claudio Albizuris 46), Mario Rodriguez (German Ruano 66), Julio Giron (Mario Acevedo 46), Sergio Guevara, Guillermo Ramirez, Gonzalo Romero, Erwin Godoy (Carlos Figueroa 46), Juan Carlos Plata.
SHOTS ON GOAL: 5
CORNER KICKS: 5
D.C. United: Troy Perkins, Ryan Nelsen (Ezra Hendrickson 46), Brandon Prideaux, David Stokes, Kevin Ara, Dema Kovalenko (Joshua Gros 46), Nana Kuffour (Brian Carroll 46), Eliseo Quintanilla (Freddy Adu 46), Tim Lawson (Christian Gomez 65), Santino Quaranta (Alecko Eskandarian 46), Jason Thompson (Earnie Stewart 65).
SHOTS ON GOAL: 11
CORNER KICKS: 2
DC - Dema Kovalenko (caution; Tackle from Behind) 15
DC - Santino Quaranta (caution; Game Disrepute) 22
CDM - Mario Rodriguez (caution; Game Disrepute) 22
DC - Nana Kuffour (Caution; Reckless Foul) 40
DC - Kevin Ara (Caution; Tackle from Behind) 73
DC - Freddy Adu (Caution; Reckless Foul) 76
CDM - Sergio Guevara (Caution; Reckless Foul) 82
Referee: Alex Prus
Assistant Referees: Steven Taylor; Kenneth Kaplan
4th Official: Ben Jones
Time of Game: 1:49
Weather: Cloudy, 69 degrees