March 6, 2021

D.C. United Game 25 Recap: Bendik foils United, D.C. settles for draw

D.C. United shot and they shot, but Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik wouldn’t cave in. D.C. fired 9 shots on goal in all, but only Dwayne De Rosario found the back of the net, and once Bobby Convey drew TFC level in the 60th minute, United had to settle for a 1-1 draw tonight at RFK Stadium. United is now 3-17-5 on the 2013 Major League Soccer season (14 points), while Toronto is 4-12-9 (21 points).

United led, 1-0, early in the first half thanks to a piece of individual brilliance from the veteran De Rosario. Getting the ball from Perry Kitchen toward the left attacking sideline in the Toronto defensive third, De Rosario cut to his right, going backward a bit as he went toward the middle of the field.

In the process, De Rosario lost two would-be Toronto defenders, then fired a shot from about 30 yards that went over Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik and inside the far post. The 10th-minute goal was De Rosario’s third of the Major League Soccer season.

On June 15 against Toronto at RFK, De Rosario also scored the opening goal early in the match, but by halftime, Toronto had built a 2-1 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. Tonight, United got to halftime with the lead, in part due to goalkeeper Bill Hamid did a good job commanding his area and reading Toronto attacks to make proper decisions, keeping Toronto off the board.

United had chances to expand the lead. Midfielder Nick DeLeon had one of those opportunities, finding open space in the Toronto penalty area midway through the first half, but his shot was high over the bar, failing to force Bendik to make a save. He got another chance moments later, but Bendik came off his line well to save easily.

De Rosario tried to double his total of MLS Goal of the Week nominees in first-half stoppage time, again shooting high from distance, but this time Bendik was up to the task, leaping to his left and getting a hand to the shot to produce a corner kick.

United continued to pressure the Toronto goal for most of the second half, with Bendik making back-to-back-to-back saves from close range during one stretch off a Luis Silva corner kick. Bendik finished with 8 saves. De Rosario and Silva, who started as the forward tandem (Conor Doyle started in the midfield), combined for five of United’s nine shots on goal. Silva was denied by Bendik on a wicked side volley attempt from close in.

Bendik’s work in net allowed Toronto to stay in the match long enough to equalize, which Convey (the former United player) did on the hour.

After Toronto’s Reggie Lambe worked the ball up the left side, he tried to pass forward into the penalty area but United defender Dejan Jakovic got to the ball first. His clearing attempt, however, went right back to Lambe. He worked the ball toward the end line and then sent a left-footed cross back toward the center of the box.

Despite having six players in and around their own penalty area, United were unable to stop Lambe’s cross and missed out entirely on marking Convey. Left open right near the penalty spot, Convey right-footed a shot low past Hamid to tie the game.

Partial credit on the Toronto goal should go to Robert Earnshaw, a 56th-minute substitute. After Jakovic tried to clear the ball and it went back to Lambe, Earnshaw cut inside and ran into the area, taking Jakovic with him. This opened the path for Lambe to work deeper into United territory and find the space to send in his cross.

Convey’s goal was his first of the season and first for TFC. Now 30, Convey joined United in 2000 and at the time was the youngest player to sign with MLS. Convey spent five years with United before moving to Reading in England in the summer of 2004. Convey scored 8 goals in 89 regular-season appearances for D.C. Tonight’s goal was the 13th of Convey’s career.

United’s MLS campaign continues next Saturday at Red Bull Arena when D.C. battles arch-rival New York. The NBC Sports Network telecast of the match begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

NOTES: De Rosario’s goal was United’s 15th of the season in 25 games. With two goals tonight in Montreal’s 5-0 win over Houston, Marco Di Vaio has 15 goals. … Attendance at RFK Stadium tonight was 13,927.

UNITED 1-1 TORONTO
De Rosario 10′
Convey 60′

Discipline:
DC – Korb, yellow, 83′

Statistics:
Shots: DC 21-12 TOR
Shots on Goal: DC 9-3 TOR
Corners: DC 10-5 TOR
Fouls: DC 10-10 TOR
Offside: DC 0-0 TOR
Possession: DC 61.5%-38.5% TOR

UNITED (3-17-5): Hamid; Korb, Riley, Woolard, Jakovic; Jeffrey, DeLeon, Doyle (Porter 74′), Kitchen; Silva, De Rosario.

TORONTO FC (4-12-9): Bendik; Morgan, Eckersley, Caldwell, Henry; Osorio (Russell 35′), Hall, Lambe, Convey (Rey 89′); Brockie, Wiedeman (Earnshaw 56′).

Ed Morgans is the United Page Editor at District Sports Page. For in-game analysis and story notifications, follow him on Twitter @writered21.

About Ed Morgans

Ed Morgans is DC United Page Editor for District Sports Page. Ed worked for The Journal Newspapers (now The Examiner) and covered DC United from 1997-2002. He spent the 2003 season writing for the club’s website. Ed has covered All-Star Games, MLS Cups, CONCACAF Champions Cup, World Cup qualifiers, and international friendlies. He also worked as a blogger at www.bigsoccer.com, the country’s leading soccer message board website. You can follow Ed on Twitter @writerEd21.

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