FC Dallas built on their success of Wednesday night, as they beat D.C. United 1-0 on Saturday night for their second consecutive win. The match up between the last two teams in the league to win a game turned out to be an exciting match, but Jeff Cunningham provided the difference, scoring the winning goal in the 68th minutes. United had their chances to score the first goal of the game and equalize as well, but demons from games past this season exposed themselves again as United failed to find the back of the net for the fifth time in seven games this season.
Both teams looked sharp to start the match, but it took several minutes before either side could carve out a decent scoring chance. But after Bill Hamid punched out a Dax McCarty corner kick, David Ferreira sent the ball back into the box, finding Jeff Cunningham at the post, but the striker put his header over the goal.
Moments later, D.C. had three chances to take the lead in quick succession. Rodney Wallace played Christian Castillo down the left hand side, and the Salvadorian winger sent a cross into the middle. Adam Cristman reacted first, but had his shot saved by Kevin Hartman. The ball fell to Danny Allsopp, but he had his shot saved by Hartman as well. The ball was then cleared out as far Clyde Simms, but his effort from outside the box slammed off the post, and Dallas cleared.
In the 20th minute, Cunningham found Brek Shea in front of goal with just Hamid to beat, but Shea was at an awkward angle, and was not able to steer his shot on target.
Curt Onalfo was then forced to make an early change, as right back Jordan Graye was unable to continue. Julius James came on as a direct replacement at the right back position.
Late in the half, both sides had decent chances to take the lead, but to no avail. From 25 yards out, Castillo hit a powerful free kick, but it was straight at Hartman, who was able to knock it away to avoid any more trouble.
In the 42nd minute, a long ball found Cristman in the box, and he did well to win a header and knock the ball into the path of Simms. From a good angle, Simms had just Hartman to beat, but the 'keeper did well to get off his line quickly, and save Simms attempt.
Dallas left back Heath Pearce nearly challenged Hamid with a free kick from 30 yards out in the final minute of the half, but the shot was just wide at the near post.
The teams came out with the same personnel as they finished the first half, and the game continued with a similar tempo. McCarty found Cunningham with a free kick in the 48th minute, but the American striker put his header over the bar from six yards out.
The breakthrough finally came from a likely source, as Cunningham found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. Pearce started the move off with the ball near midfield, and moved unobstructed into United territory. He passed the ball to Ferreira, who turned, and then laid a pass off to Cunningham, who took a touch before tucking the ball past Hamid for the lead in the 68th minute.
Avila nearly added to the lead just a minute later, as Dallas' corner was cleared out to him just outside the box. But his wonderfully hit volley was well saved by Hamid, who pushed it out for a corner.
Onalfo rolled the dice in the 75th minute, as he brought on forward Jaime Moreno for defender Devon McTavish. As a result, United switched to just three defenders at the back, looking for the equalizing goal.
D.C. worked a decent chance in the 76th minute, as Kurt Morsink played James down the right hand flank. The defender's cross found Cristman at the near post, but Cristman had his shot deflected out for a corner, which came to naught for United.
The crossbar saved Hartman in the 80th minute, as Morsink had shot on target that deflected off of Ugo Ihemelu, and crashed off the bar. Down at the other end, a quick Dallas counter attack ended with the ball in Cunningham's possession just outside the box, but his curling effort was just off target.
With so many pouring forward, United was open to the counter attack, which Dallas exploited time after time. Avila and Ferreira both had opportunities, only to be stopped by Hamid. Atiba Harris had a chance on the counter as well, but his shot was blocked before it could reach Hamid.
United was unable to muster any sort of chances in the final minutes of the match, as Dallas succeeded in killing the game off, for their second consecutive win.
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