Despite an early first half goal from Eddie Johnson from a cross by Perry Kitchen, the first half found D.C. United absorbing much of a Toronto FC attack, discouraging considering Toronto played a competitive match over the weekend while D.C. watched a chantreuse of the country western variety while their backup goalie blew out his achilles. But the second half proved to be where D.C. made their money tonight, shutting out Toronto 3-0 in front of 16,171 at RFK Stadium.
We mentioned in the past about how D.C. United were able to reduce the shot quality that opponents put on Bill Hamid but Toronto FC put him to the test in the first half, with close saves on Dominic Oduro (who I may add, was seeing the ball on an inordinate amount of an attack where Jermaine Defoe and Michael Bradley shared the field) on more than one occasion and some wider shots by Michael Bradley and Jackson, en route to saving six shots in the first half. On the other end, past Johnson's goal (with a late to arrive Warren Creavalle among the culprits in defense), Chris Rolfe's first-half header went wide. In a half where D.C. owned possession with almost 60%, they lost the duel numbers in the first half and hung onto the lead.
Hamid was greeting the second half with a close range shot by Luke Moore. But in the 59th minute, Nick DeLeon was taken down in the box and referee Chris Penso smartly let advantage go to Chris Rolfe, who toed the ball past Joe Bendik to get the brace. Not too much later in the 65th minute, DeLeon muscled Justin Morrow off the ball and got by Nick Hagglund to chip over an attacking Joe Bendik. However in his recovery, Hagglund's headed clearance went into the net for an own goal, and the 3-0 result stood. The save on Moore by Hamid was the last shot on target he faced in the game after a busy first half, the eight save shutout matching a career high.
During halftime of the match, owner Jason Levien said he was "very cautiously optimistic" about progress with the stadium discussions and hoped to have news of some fashion within the next 30-60 days.
D.C. (11-5-4) moved to one point within first place of idle Sporting Kansas City (still holding a game in hand) and goes on the road to play Houston on Sunday with the hopes of winning their first game there. Toronto (7-7-5) remains tied for third with Columbus and eight points back of D.C., with a game in hand on D.C. They go to Montreal to play the Impact.