Ortiz blasted a shot past Dykstra in the second half to up the lead to 4-1. Birnbaum surged forward to drill home an Espindola cross in the 88nd minute but Alajuelense came right down the field to add a fifth by Jonathan McDonald, one of several attackers who tormented the D.C. defense throughout the match.
After the match, Olsen admitted Dykstra was put in a tough spot.
“I won’t sugarcoat this, and my goalkeeper won’t sugarcoat this: [Dykstra] had a bad night,” said Olsen. "What you guys don’t know is that he’s been out for seven months and we rushed him back several weeks ago. Our starting keeper went down and we had to use him today. He was out of rhythm and he wasn’t sharp. This is pretty normal when you have to rely on guys that are coming back from injury and have been out for almost a year, this is a normal thing. He is a very, very good goalkeeper and he’ll be back from this.”
Feb. 26 in Alajuela
Alajuelense 5 D.C. United 2. Goals: A.Rodriguez (pen.) 15, Ortiz 22, 54, Venegas 27, McDonald 90; Espindola 24, Birnbaum 88.
Alajuelense –- Lewis; Acosta, Gutierrez, Peralta, Lopez, A.Rodriguez, Alonso, Venegas (Caldo, 57), Mattarita (O.Rodriguez, 75), Ortiz (Palma, 84), McDonald.
D.C. United – Dykstra; Franklin, Birnbaum, Boswell, Kemp; Rolfe (Aguilar, 71), Kitchen, Arnaud (Farfan, 80), DeLeon, Pontius (Arrieta, 57); Espindola.
Concacaf Champions League, Quarterfinals, First Leg
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Olimpia 1 Herediano 1
Pachuca 2 Montreal Impact 2
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Saprissa 0 Club America 3
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Alajuelense 5 D.C. United 2
Concacaf Champions League, Quarterfinals, Second Leg
TUESDAY, MARCH 3
Montreal Impact vs. Pachuca
Club America vs. Saprissa
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4
D.C. United vs. Alajuelense
THURSDAY, MARCH 5
Herediano vs. Olimpia