WASHINGTON — The second half started to play out to an all-too-familiar scene for D.C. United.
Up a goal, United conceded an easy one to the Houston Dynamo. In fact, they did it twice in the span of nine minutes on Saturday night.
Yet, this time, the story had a different ending. United ran out 3-2 winners thanks to two goals from Maicon Santos and one from Dwayne De Rosario.
Full Match Highlights
“It was an eventful second half,” manager Ben Olsen added. “I am proud of the guys tonight because losing the lead twice and coming back shows a lot of spirit.”
“I thought [our resiliency] was very impressive,” Chris Pontius, who had the assist on Santos’ first goal, said after the game. “Last year we don’t come back, we don’t keep fighting and getting these goals that we are getting.”
United scrambled to make a change to the team late in the first half, as center back Emiliano Dudar pulled up lame with a hamstring injury. The Black and Red survived until halftime with their lead after Marcelo Saragosa came on for Dudar, but it took Will Bruin just five minutes after the break to find an equalizer.
“Their first goal was a good ball in, and a good finish,” United left back Daniel Woolard told MLSsoccer.com. “We just didn’t get matched up in the box. On the second one, we just lost the ball in a bad spot, and they punished us.”
For 11 minutes, with the score tied, there was an inkling that United was on the verge of a second-half collapse. Fans, players, and coaches had seen plenty of evidence of that over the past two seasons.
But this time, United didn’t let it happen. Instead, they constructed a good goal that Maicon Santos finished with a header for his sixth goal of the season.
The win extended United’s unbeaten run to seven games, and also marked the first time that they have won two consecutive league matches since June 2009, a span of 89 games. In all, it has Olsen excited about the way things are going and what might still come.
“There is something to this team,” he said. “They got a little of chutzpah, as they say.”