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D.C. United ease past Montego Bay 3-0, move to top of Group H

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United's 3-0 win, with goals from Aguilar, Opare and Doyle, puts the team atop Group H with two games remaining

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United made easy work of Montego Bay on Tuesday night, earning a 3-0 win over the Jamaican side in CONCACAF Champions League play to move top of Group H with two games remaining. Miguel Aguilar scored in the first half, adding to his tally last week in the 1-0 win over Arabe Unido in Panama. Kofi Opare then ensured the win in the second half, with Michael Farfan collecting his second assist on the night, before Conor Doyle wrapped up proceedings with a goal in the 90th minute.

Manager Ben Olsen, in charge after being suspended for the game last week against Arabe Unido, went with almost the same lineup as the one Chad Ashton used in Panama. The only personnel change to the lineup was the insertion of Farfan into the lineup. To make room, Markus Halsti moved back to defense to pair up with Opare while Steve Birnbaum took a spot on the bench.

Montego Bay was lively early on, forcing the first two chances of the game, the first of which put Andrew Dykstra into action. Jermaine Woozencroft took a pass down the left hand side, picking out the darting run of Dino Williams. Williams' touch put him into shooting position, but his shot from a tight angle was parried away by Dykstra.

A slick passing move around United's box resulted in Donovan Carey playing the ball through the box, but Williams slipped as he took his shot, and only looped an effort that ended in a handball against Montego Bay.

United finally got a hold of the game, and started creating chances at the other end. After a marauding run forward that resulted in a corner kick, captain for the night Halsti headed the set piece wide of the goal. Minutes later, Facundo Coria was given a look by a Chris Pontius backheel in the box, but the Argentinian's shot was weak and right to goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett.

In the 27th minute Halsti got on the end of another Coria corner, but this time the effort looped up and bounced off the crossbar and out. The woodwork denied United again three minutes later, as Jared Jeffrey's laser effort from a free kick routine crashed off the bar.

United continued to create chances as the half wore on. Farfan set up Coria in the box for a shot on the turn in the 36th minute that went just wide. That was followed by the breakthrough, as Farfan's second assist in two CCL games helped Aguilar notch his second goal in the competition.  Farfan's entry pass into Aguilar - making a hard diagonal run into the middle - was expertly spun by the rookie around one defender, before a second touch allowed the University of San Francisco product to slide a shot underneath Barrett for the 1-0 lead.

Halsti sent another header from a Coria free kick wide, but Montego Bay pushed back with two opportunities at the other end to finish out the half. An opportunity for Williams was broken up in the box by Opare, but Allan Ottey was in the right spot to follow up; his effort from near the end line was collected by Dykstra. Williams tried his luck from range in first half stoppage, only to sail his effort wide of the goal.

United kept the pressure up in the second half, coming close to a second moments after Doyle entered the match for Pontius. Jeffrey slipped Doyle in behind the defense to cross, but Coria could only only to send his ensuing effort straight at Barrett.

In the 64th minute, Coria should have doubled United's lead but wasted Arrieta's well timed run. Stalking the backline, Arrieta made his move on a quickly taken free kick from well inside United's half. In behind the Montego Bay defense Arrieta squared the ball from the right for Coria, but the Argentine scuffed the sitter wide.

Williams had been the source of most of Montego Bay's efforts throughout the game, and he got on the end a corner kick four minutes later, but could only send his header over the crossbar.

Opare then sealed the deal for United in the 70th minute, netting his third goal of the season in all competitions. Coria won a corner kick for the Black-and-Red from a deflected free kick, which Halsti delivered into the box. United kept the ball alive in the box thanks to some lax defending from the visitors. Farfan collected the ball and squared it back in front of goal, where Opare stabbed it home for the two goal advantage.

Dwayne Holmes tried to catch Dykstra out of position following a short corner with a long range effort in the 78th minute, but the keeper quickly got back to his near post to catch the stinging shot. Williams then skipped past second half substitute Birnbaum to create an opening for a shot, but launched his effort well over the goal.

United could have padded their win late on, only to be denied twice by Barrett. After Coria made his way down the right and cut back in the box, his pass to Collin Martin resulted in a reaction save from Barrett, as Martin got enough on the shot to make the keeper work. Another quick free kick was then played to Arrieta running in behind the defense, but the Costa Rican was denied by Barrett.

Doyle applied the finish for the third goal in the 90th minute, capping off a comprehensive win for United. Coria's header in the box was pushed out to Martin, who quickly took a shot that was blocked. The ball fell to Doyle, who was entirely unmarked and finished with ease, tucking a shot low past Barrett and inside the far post.

United get back to action on Sunday, traveling up to New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls. United's next CCL match is at home against Arabe Unido on September 15th, with a win in that match sealing United's spot in the quarterfinals.