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United smashes Jabloteh for third straight win
by Ridge Mahoney, October 1st, 2009 7AM
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[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] After failing to win any of its first eight group games in the Concacaf Champions League, D.C. United is on a roll. D.C. moved into second place in Group B with nine points from five matches by routing San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago), 5-1, at RFK Stadium Wednesday. Christian Gomez and Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo each scored twice, and Fred netted once as United, which had not win any of its group games last year and lost its first two of this year's competition, rattled off its third straight win.

United applied pressure from the opening kickoff and led, 3-0, at halftime. Gomez scored in the 13th minute when Rodney Wallace's cross from the left side was deflected right into his path, and he easily struck the ball past keeper Cleon John. Fred scored on the half hour when a great through ball from Chris Pontius sent him in alone, and Khumalo scored with two minutes left in the half on a feed from Gomez, who took a pass from Clyde Simms and cut past two defenders to play a ball to the back post for Khumalo to smash into the net .

Jabloteh started the second half strongly. United keeper Milos Kocic saved from Jerrel Britto on a free kick, and thwarted the visitors again when Anton Hutchinson drove the ball back on frame from a partial clearance. Willis Plaza fired a high shot that missed the top corner, and another shot took a deflection wide, but after about 15 minutes Jabloteh fizzled and United regained control.

Midway through the half, Wallace worked his way up the left flank to serve a ball that Gomez fired on goal at the near post. The hard, rising shot glanced off John's gloves and into the net.

Britto put Jabloteh, which has lost all five of its games, on the board in the 83rd minute on a through ball from Hector Sam for just the club's third goal of the competition. Fred set up the last goal with a nice spin move at the edge of the penalty arc, and laid back a ball for Khumalo to hit a bending, first-time shot that curled around John and just inside the post.

Group leader Toluca (12 points) plays third-place Marathon (seven points) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on Thursday. If Marathon loses, D.C. United can clinch a spot in the quarterfinals by getting at least a tie in its final group match Oct. 20 at Toluca. If D.C. and Marathon finish tied on points, United wins the second tiebreaker of more goals scored in head-to-head meetings.

Sept. 30 in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United 5, San Juan Jabloteh 1. Goals: Gomez (Wallace) 13, Fred (Pontius) 30, Khumalo (Gomez) 43, Gomez (Wallace) 68, Khumalo (Fred) 92+; Britto (Sam) 83.
D.C. United - Kocic, James (Burch, 78), McTavish, Habarugira, Simms (Szetela, 57), Wallace, Jacobson, Fred, Pontius (Shipalne, 66), Gomez, Khumalo.
San Juan Jabloteh - John, Hutchinson, Williams, John, Marcano (Glen, 64), Jamerson, Plaza (Sam, 69), Guerra, Lawrence, Russell (Murray, 86), Britto.
Referee: German Arredondo.
Att.: 3,411.


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