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Played
October 20, 2012 7:38 PM EDT
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium — Washington, District of Columbia
Referee:‬ E. Jurisevic‎
Attendance:‬ 19647‎
 
39′ Nick DeLeon
J. Arrieta 41′
90+1′ Lewis Neal
 

D.C. United 3-2 Columbus Crew: D.C. clinches playoff spot

D.C. United heads back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the clinching points sealed in a comeback win over Columbus.

By Zac Lee Rigg

Chris Pontius, D.C. United, MLS
Ned Dishman
D.C. United will participate in the postseason for the first time since 2007 thanks to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew in a sold out RFK Stadium on Saturday night. The Crew were eliminated from postseason contention.

The Crew opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Dejan Jakovic blocked a Jairo Arrieta header, but Eddie Gaven swooped into the box to clean up the scraps. The goal was Gaven's ninth this year, a season high in his decade-long career.

The teams traded back-to-back goals to end the first half. First, Lionard Pajoy feigned past two defenders in the box and put a hard low shot on frame. Andy Gruenebaum could only palm the ball into the path of Nick DeLeon's late run. DeLeon's sixth goal of the year set a club record for most scored by a rookie.

Straight away, on a swift counterattack, Arrieta put Columbus ahead again. He curled a shot from the top of the box which rebounded off the post, off goalkeeper Bill Hamid's back and into the net.

Midway through the second half, D.C. equalized again. Brandon McDonald slid to keep a free kick alive. Marcelo Saragosa one-timed a left-footed shot which deflected past Gruenebaum.

With the frantic game headed toward a conclusion, Lewis Neal scored in stoppage time. Branko Boskovic deftly lifted a long ball over the head of a Crew defender to put Neal in on goal. The English midfielder slotted home to slot D.C. into the playoffs.

Follow ZAC LEE RIGG on or shoot him an email


D.C. United

28
Bill Hamid
Goalkeeper
 - 
14
 - 
-
Dejan Jakovic
Defender
 - 
22
Chris Korb
Defender
 - 
55
Marcelo Saragosa
Midfielder
59′
 - 
14
A. Najar
Midfielder
 - 
14
Nick DeLeon
Midfielder
39′
 - 
23
Perry Kitchen
Midfielder
 - 
13
Chris Pontius
Midfielder
87′
 - 
-
L. Pajoy
Striker
82′
 - 
-
Maicon Santos
Striker
69′
 - 

Columbus Crew

 - 
30
 - 
3
 - 
4
 - 
-
 - 
20
 - 
33
Chris Birchall
Midfielder
 - 
10
 - 
12
Eddie Gaven
Midfielder
7′
 - 
9
Justin Meram
Midfielder
64′
 - 
19
J. Arrieta
Striker
4′ 41′
 - 
10

Substitutes

31
Joe Willis
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
 - 
15
Ethan White
Defender
 - 
-
 - 
27
 - 
24
Lewis Neal
Midfielder
69′ 91′
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
28
Matt Lampson
Goalkeeper
 - 
16
Eric Gehrig
Defender
 - 
-
 - 
6
Tony Tchani
Midfielder
88′
 - 
11
Dilly Duka
Midfielder
64′
 - 
17
Ben Speas
Midfielder
 - 
20

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Dominic Dwyer Dominic Dwyer
Striker
Sporting KC
4 1