Wayne Rooney scored his first MLS goal to lead D.C. United to a much-needed win over the Colorado Rapids in their third match at Audi Field, though the home side made hard work of the victory over the Western Conference basement dwellers.
Rooney raced onto a classy ball from Luciano Acosta and nutmegged goalkeeper Tim Howard to put D.C. ahead in the first half, and for long stretches it appeared that it would be enough to bank all three points, only for some late drama to provide a tumultuous conclusion on the banks of the Anacostia River.
Kellyn Acosta made his Rapids debut in the wake of Monday's surprising trade from FC Dallas and was heavily involved in his new team's proceedings, though not always for the best. The U.S. international muffed a chance to push Colorado ahead early, clanging a first-half penalty kick off the post, though he drew the Rapids level with a lovely lofted finish in the 82nd minute after United failed to convert on a bevy of opportunities to salt away the win.
A home draw would've been disastrous for D.C. and their hopes of a late-season playoff push. But they were rescued by a fluky own goal as Ulises Segura's cross deflected off Niki Jackson and spun past Howard from a sharp angle, the latest bit of hard luck in a season full of it for Colorado.
- 33' – DC – Wayne Rooney | WATCH
- 82' – COL – Kellyn Acosta | WATCH
- 90' – DC – Niki Jackson (OG) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It took more than a bit of good fortune for D.C. to subdue the woebegone Rapids, but the Black-and-Red won't care too much about that for now as they labor to rack up points and build momentum at their new home.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Though plenty of influential action transpired further into the match, Rooney's goal was an historic moment for player and club – and a pretty sequence of play, too.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Rooney will hog the headlines; Russell Canouse hawked the ball in midfield to set the tone for United, misplacing just six passes in a metronomic performance at the base of midfield, and in his first start of the season to boot.
Good outing in deep midfield for #DCU's Russell Canouse in his first start of 2018, laying the foundation for Rooney & Co. further upfield:— Charles Boehm (@cboehm) July 29, 2018
40/46 passing, 1 key pass, 2/2 on dribbles, 9 recoveries, 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 fouls committed#DCvCOL pic.twitter.com/DqFtX2CNEP