WASHINGTON, D.C. – In front of 30,367 spectators, D.C. United finally broke through their atrocious scoring slump, in a 3-2 win in a friendly against AC Milan. Despite seeing less of the ball in the first half, United went into the break with a two goal advantage, which they increased to three in the second half. But a late rally from Milan forced United to sweat out the result in the end.
Milan got the party started early on in the match, as they carved out a chance in the opening minute. Ronaldinho fed the ball to Clarence Seedorf, who returned the favor. The Brazilian maestro then played Alexandre Pato into the box, but United ‘keeper Bill Hamid made the save on Pato's shot.
The Italian side controlled the proceedings of the match from there, as their passing and movement dictated the flow of the game, while D.C. was forced to defend. Occasionally, United would win possession back, but failed to create any sort of opening within the Milan defense.
However, it was United who found the opening goal, Luciano Emilio poking home in the 20th minute. After Milan cleared United's corner, Stephen King sent a long ball back into the box, which found Chris Pontius at the far post. Pontius headed the ball back across the face of the goal, where Emilio tucked it in.
Ten minutes later, United doubled their advantage, courtesy of Pontius. Santino Quaranta's corner found Pontius in the box, and despite the marking from Ignazio Abate, Pontius was able to power his header past Christian Abbiati for the two goal lead.
Andy Najar nearly made it three several minutes later, but his long range effort on a counterattack jut skipped past Abbiati's far post.
The final chance of the half came in the lone minute of stoppage time, as Ronaldinho was played into the box. He let the ball run before dinking it past Hamid. However, as the ball was about to cross the line, Rodney Wallace slid to clear it out, preserving the two goal advantage.
Ronaldinho nearly opened up the scoring in the second half in the 53rd minute, but his outrageous bicycle kick slammed off the post, having beaten United 'keeper Troy Perkins.
D.C. then added to their advantage again in the 61st minute, as Danny Allsopp scored a fortuitous goal. Massimo Oddo's backpass to Abbiati was short, and the keeper tried to clear it out immediately. However, it took a deflection off of Allsopp and rolled into the empty net.
Brandon Barklage, who entered the match in the 64th minute as United’s last substitution, was forced off in the 66th minute, as he bent his leg backwards fighting for a loose ball with Alessandro Mancini. From there, the game fell apart for United, as they were forced to play with 10 men.
Minutes later, the ref awarded Milan a penalty. Kurt Morsink was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Oddo calmly placed the ball beyond Perkins; just like that, Milan was back in the contest.
Four minutes later, Oddo doubled his tally, finishing off a well-worked Milan corner. Milan took the corner short and worked the ball around the outside of the box until it fell to Oddo. The Italian sized up his chances and then shot the ball from 30 yards out, beating Perkins again.
Oddo nearly completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute, but his long-range volley dipped just beyond the bar, and United were spared from squandering a three goal lead.
Milan continued to carve openings in the final 15 minutes, but the necessary composure in front of goal went missing, as they could not make the man advantage count.
For more on Major League Soccer, visit Goal.com's MLS page and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!