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Emilio tallies as D.C. United tops Columbus

Aug 19, 2007 - 3:28 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The Columbus Crew's playoff standing took a hit thanks to rival D.C. United.

Luciano Emilio and Fred each scored second-half goals as D.C. United defeated the Crew, 2-0, on Saturday.

While Columbus (6-7-8) continues to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot with 26 points, it lost an opportunity to pad its lead over Colorado (6-9-6), which is two points off the pace.

"They came out to play in the second half and we just didn't have the answer," Columbus forward-midfielder Eddie Gavin said. "We have good players, I don't think there is any reason to panic. I still think we are going to make the playoffs. I believe in this team and feel that we will absolutely make the playoffs."

Adding to the Crew's frustration was the fact that the loss came at the hands of longtime rival D.C. United, which improved to 21-14-7 in the all-time series.

"We have only gotten one point in our last three games and I have always said when you have a bad stretch, you have to pick it up," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "The main thing is we cannot bang ourselves over the head and say it's all for naught. We have been pretty consistent over the last 10 games. Tonight wasn't a shining moment for us, but there will be better moments ahead."

After a scoreless opening 45 minutes that saw just two shots on goal, both by D.C. United, play opened up a bit in the second half.

United (10-6-3) broke the scoreless tie in the 52nd minute on Fred's third goal of the season.

The opportunity developed when Bryan Namoff sent in a high crossing pass from the right side and Christian Gomez headed the ball off the left post. The ball bounced back to Gomez, who could not gain control, but Fred charged the loose ball in the penalty area and rocketed a shot into the top right of the goal past goalkeeper Will Hesmer.

"The rebound that came off of the play and I was very confident that if I got to it I was going to strike it with enough force to put it in the back of the net. I felt like it was my birthday gift," said Fred, who turned 28 years old Saturday.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto nearly tied the game moments later as he broke free toward the United net, but converging defenders didn't allow him to get much on his shot, which was easily handled by goaltender Troy Perkins.

After a quiet first half, Perkins was called upon to make five saves over the final 45 minutes en route to his fifth shutout of the season.

Emilio notched his league-leading 14th goal in the 63rd minute on a play in which Hesmer and defender Ezra Hendrickson appeared to cross each other up.

Fred sent a through pass toward the net from the right side that both Emilio and Hendrickson battled for as the ball rolled toward the goal. Apparently unsure as to whether Hesmer was coming out to play the ball, Hendrickson backed off the play, which allowed Emilio to gain control and beat the netminder with a shot to the left side.

"I am yelling at (Hendrickson) to play it back, play it back. Whether he heard me or not, or whether he wanted to make his own play? I think he is a good player and just had a bad touch and their guy snuck in there," Hesmer said.

Hendrickson said he never heard his goaltender on the play.

"I felt the pressure (by Emilio) and it is one of those things if I am not hearing (Hesmer) I can't just play it to him because I don't know if he is ready for it," he said. "I just made a bad decision by playing it to the right I should have just kicked it in the stands ... to give up a goal like that it is not something I am very happy about."

Emilio has scored 12 goals in his last 11 league games, including four in the last three.

"I had the sense that (Hendrickson) was going to cut inside so that I would cut outside. I just anticipated his move and I was able to meet the ball and bury it," Emilio said.

United has won three of their last five trips to Columbus after going nine games without a win here.


    DC UNITED - - Fred in the 52nd minute
    - Luciano Emilio in the 63rd minute

    DC UNITED - Brian Carroll in the 81st minute
    COLUMBUS - Stefani Miglioranzi in the 31st minute
    - Frankie Hejduk in the 42nd minute


    DC U

    Aug 18 9:46 PM

  • MLS

    Aug 18 9:28 PM

    DC UNITED GOAL: Luciano Emilio in the 63rd minute

    D.C. United vs. Crew SCAug 18 8:59 PM

    DC UNITED GOAL: - Fred in the 52nd minute

    D.C. United vs. Crew SCAug 18 8:47 PM

  • MLS

    Aug 18 8:23 PM