Arriola scores late to give D.C. United 1-0 win over Sporting KC
WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was a cold, tad bit blustery, fluctuating rainy Mother’s Day at Audi Field. As the rain picked up and the wind blew it sideways, both soccer clubs on the pitch below were tight deadlocked into a scoreless game entering the final minutes.
Paul Arriola broke the scoreless affair in the 78th minute, and the rest of his D.C. United teammates slammed the door shut for a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.
Arriola’s tiebreaker was a curl that went off the hand of Sporting KC goalkeeper, Tim Melia. It would go on to be the difference. The tally was his third of the season to help D.C. United to an important three points.
The win improves D.C. United’s record to 7-2-3 for 23 points, tying them with the Philadelphia Union for first place.
This game was filled with a lot of rain throughout the night, with the raindrops really picking up towards the end.
The Black and Red had a few chances early on with a free kick from Rooney in the 14th minute and a good-look header from Steve Birnbaum inside the box, but Melia was on his toes.
Sporting KC had a much bigger push in the second half, but D.C. United goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, was on his game and never looked back. Hamid recorded the shutout for the 60th of his career and sixth clean sheet of the season. Rooney assisted on Arriola’s goal for his fourth assist of the season. Arriola talked about the big result after the game.
“I think we just stuck with what we needed to do. We continued to create chances, I think the first half gave us a lot of confidence,” said Arrola.
“Finishing was off, but we were getting into the final third and creating chances and were behind their defensive mid, I’d say. So, I think it was collectively a great team effort and didn’t stop going. Obviously, we’d be disappointed if we didn’t get the win, you know, at 0-0 I don’t think we would have walked away very happy. But thankfully we were able to get a goal and three points.”
D.C. United will hit the road twice this week. First they will face Toronto FC north of the border Wednesday night before heading to Houston for a Saturday date with the Dynamo.
Photo credit: D.C. United