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In 90 minutes of rain, D.C. United emerged victorious in the Pacific Northwest, benefitting from an own goal in a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers. Bill Tuiloma knocked in Ulises Segura's cross in the 25th minute, giving United their second consecutive win, both of which came away from the friendly confines of Audi Field. The win elevated the Black-and-Red to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a position that could change depending on other results on Sunday.
Wayne Rooney returned to the starting lineup on Sunday after missing the previous two games due to suspension. But head coach Ben Olsen was not able to call upon Ola Kamara, who scored twice in the win over the Montreal Impact, as the striker was absent due to a hamstring injury.
The rain and the surface made for a rather tepid opening between the two sides, with the first chance coming from Paul Arriola in the 15th minute. His shot was saved by Steve Clark, but a minute later at the other end, the post saved United, as Diego Valeri's header bounced just past the diving Bill Hamid.
Both sides continued to probe without much end product until the 25th minute when the visitors grabbed the lead in the 25th minute. United were able to work the ball from the wing, inside, and back out to Segura, who crossed into the middle for Rooney. Tuiloma tried to intervene, but in doing so, sent the ball into his own net, with Clark unable to prevent the ball from getting past him.
Huge protests from United in the 37th minute surrounded the most controversial moment of the game. A corner kick from Rooney was sent towards the back post, where Lucas Rodriguez got a slight touch to the ball. The ball then deflected off of Clark, and inched towards the goal before Eryk Williamson cleared the ball off the line. United immediately argued that the ball had crossed the line, and seemed to be supported by a still image from the ESPN Goalpost camera.
However, at the next stoppage, there was no video review, despite how close the ball looked to have crossed the line, denying United what would have been a two-goal advantage.
Early in the second half, a cross from Portland fullback Jorge Moreira almost turned into a goal, as his effort drifted towards goal. Hamid scrambled to deal with the danger, but the ball bounced off of the crossbar and stayed in, but United were able to deal with the follow-up attempts.
Williamson and Valeri forced saves out of Hamid in the 60th and 64th minutes, as Portland applied plenty of pressure to start the second half. Neither shot caused many issues for Hamid, though, who did have to punch Valeri's effort way, given the conditions in the rain.
Rooney, who had an otherwise quiet day, tried to beat Clark from outside the box with a left-footed shot in the 68th minute, but the former DCU keeper had zero issues in making a clean save. At the other end, an early cross found Tuiloma in the 75th minute, but the header from the defender bounced wide of the post, which Hamid had covered anyway.
Arriola had a chance to settle the proceedings in the 82nd minute when Segura played him beyond the backline. Arriola got into the box and seemed to have Clark leaning the wrong way, but the keeper somehow got a touch to Arriola's shot, pushing it wide of the goal. There was then five minutes of stoppage time for United to see out, but they did so without much fuss, furthering cementing their playoff status.
With 45 points from 31 games, United is back in action next Sunday, when they host the Seattle Sounders at Audi Field.