WASHINGTON - D.C. United kept on pace in their CONCACAF Champions League campaign on Tuesday night, defeating Jamaican side Montego Bay United FC 3-0 at RFK Stadium.
The MLSers were heavily favored on this occasion and things went as planned for the home side, who rode tallies from Miguel Aguilar, Kofi Opare and Conor Doyle to a 3-0 victory, solidifying their position atop group H and all but eliminating their winless opponents from contention.
D.C. controlled almost all of the ball through the game’s opening 15 minutes, but it would be the Jamaicans who’d get the game’s first pair of opportunities. In the 14th minute, speedy midfielder Jermaine Woozencroft streaked down the near flank, finding Jamaican national teamer Dino Williams at the near edge of the area. Williams’ driven effort from a steep angle was parried away by United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.
A minute later, Williams would take another crack at grabbing the opener, combining with midfielder Donovan Carey on an attempt from 12 yards out; though positioned well, his badly-shanked effort posed little danger to Dykstra.
United got their first look in the 25th. Chris Pontius collected the ball at the edge of the area and used a nifty backheel to find Facundo Coria, who sent an anemic effort to the far post that was easily smothered by Montego goalie Jacomeno Barrett. A minute later, United defender Markus Halsti redirected a corner kick with his back and very nearly scored as his unintentional effort struck the crossbar.
The woodwork would intervene again at the half-hour mark. Jared Jeffrey’s driven free kick from 22 yards out eluded Barrett, but couldn’t avoid the crossbar, smacking off of it and caroming out of bounds.
D.C.’s breakthrough came in the 37th minute, on a combination between Aguilar and Michael Farfan. Farfan took a touch at the edge of the area and played a ball through for Aguilar, who fired low and to the ‘keeper’s right from about 12 yards. It was the rookie’s second Champions League goal in under a week, and Farfan’s second assist in that same timeframe.
United nearly doubled their advantage on the other side of the halftime whistle when second-half sub Conor Doyle sent a driven cross towards Coria at the far post. The Argentine’s one-timed attempt flew wide; he’d miss another opportunity to strike in the 66th minute when he poked a sitter a few feet wide of the far post from 10 yards out.
D.C. found their insurance tally in the 71st minute off a poor clearance from Montego Bay, which fell to the feet of Farfan in the box. The former Union midfielder calmly slotted it across the six-yard area to Opare, who lunged and sent the ball into goal. By the time Doyle added a late insurance tally with a well-placed right-footer in the 90th minute, the match had already been decided.
United return to league play this coming Sunday when they’ll travel up I-95 to face the archival New York Red Bulls. They won’t return to CCL play until mid-September, when they’ll welcome Panamanian side Árabe Unido to RFK with a chance to clinch advancement to the tournament’s elimination phase.