D.C. United now faces an uphill in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinal against Chivas de Guadalajara-but it could have been a lot worse. A 1-1 draw salvaged in the final minute by
a Luciano Emilio header was enough to give fans at RFK a reason to hope.
Indeed, it's a very uphill battle that the MLS club now faces. Guadalajara, which lies at an altitude of 5,000
feet above sea level, is world-renowned for its fan support, so the fact that Tom Soehn's men labored-and boy did they labor-to earn a draw against the Mexican giants means the second task will be
far tougher. It should also be noted that no MLS team has ever won a CONCACAF game in Mexico, which United must do to progress to the final.
"Absolutely, we're disappointed," midfielder
Ben Olsen said. "We needed to get a result, but we didn't." Olsen, however, was just about United's best player on the field last night. His industry earned the free kick that resulted in Emilio's
late, and it must be said, unlikely equalizer. Coach Soehn knows his team was lucky to walk away with a tie, as Chivas, just like Pachuca in the first half against Houston, was wasteful in front of
goal. "I was a little disappointed in the way we came out and our mentality toward the game," the D.C. coach said. "We didn't handle the pressure well."
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