for this game

Doe propels D.C. United to much-needed win

Oct 17, 2008 - 3:17 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Badly needing a win to keep his team's flickering playoff hopes alive, Francis Doe came to the rescue.

The 22-year-old scored his first two goals of the season during the second half as D.C. United edged the New England Revolution, 2-1, in an entertaining contest on Thursday.

Doe tied the match in the 63rd minute and netted the game-winner in the 80th to help the United (11-14-4) move one point ahead of the New York Red Bulls (9-10-9) for the final playoff spot.

"We had a feeling something good was going to happen today," Doe said.

The victory was the first since August 23 for D.C., snapping a seven-game winless stretch. The club closes the season on October 26 at the Columbus Crew, hoping to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 2002.

With the game tied at 1-1, United goalkeeper Louis Crayton sent a long ball down the middle of the field that was flicked on by Santino Quaranta to Doe just outside the penalty area. The striker took a couple dribbles inside the top of the box, beating New England's defender Michael Parkhurst, placing a perfect right-footed strike into the upper right corner, sending the crowd at RFK Stadium into a frenzy.

"Parkhurst is an experienced player, so I've got to use speed and strength," Doe said. "I knew we were going to come back because we were together. I knew we were going to win this game."

The Revolution was disappointed in their defensive play.

"The second one was a great finish," New England All-Star midfielder Sharlie Joseph said. "He worked hard to keep Parky off him. The first one, we thought was offside."

With a slew of injuries, D.C. has had to search for new ways to score - and in just his third start of the season, it was Doe's night.

"He's working very hard," United coach Tom Soehn said. "He's making it difficult. He's putting pressure on defenders. He's a hard guy to play against."

The Revolution (12-10-7), who were outshot, 20-13, never mounted a series threat over the game's final 10 minutes as the United hung on to get a much-needed victory.

Jaime Moreno, who's been hampered by a knee injury, didn't start but gave the team a spark, recording one assist in 29 second-half minutes.

"Sometimes you need a slap in the face to wake up and react," Moreno said. "We did with that (first) goal. The win was what we needed."

Taylor Twellman opened the scoring 13 minutes into the second half after Kheli Dube sent Mauricio Castro all alone down the right wing. Though the play looked to be offsides, Castro dribbled in and crossed the ball to Twellman, who easily knocked the ball into the open net.

Doe tied the game five minutes later, blasting a right-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area into the lower right-hand corner. It was the United's first goal since September 25.

"When we were ahead, we were in full control," New England coach Steve Nicol said. "The two goals we lost were on bad defensive plays."

Aside from New York, D.C. must hold off Kansas City and Salt Lake, which each have 36 points -- one fewer than United.

"We can't think this is enough," Soehn said. "Hopefully we can get some help along the way."

The Revolution, who have lost in the MLS championship game in each of the past three consecutive years, played their first game without Steve Ralston, the league's career leader in both assists and games played. Ralston fractured his right fibula in New England's game on October 11 against Kansas City and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

"We'd rather have him on the team, but we get to 65 minutes and we're ahead," Nicol said. "We must have done something right."