Though DC coming back from 2-0 down in the first leg against Pachuca was always going to be a stretch, it was Houston who had the worst of it on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 10, 2008) — Once again Major League soccer exited the CONCACAF Champions Cup at the semifinal stage, with more questions for the Houston Dynamo than DC United.
Pachuca 1 – DC United 2
DC came up a goal short in their second leg, winning the game 2-1 but losing the series 3-2 on aggregate. DC trailed 1-0 (3-0) after the 76th minute, but regrouped to score by way of the subs bench, with Rod Dyachenko hitting in the 85th and Franco Niell getting the game winner in the 90th.
United’s likelier suspects for goals, Luciano Emilio and returning starter Jaime Moreno, had their chances but were unable to really threaten. Making it even worse, the DC attack wasn’t playing with a club sitting in its own defensive third trying to ride out the first game result.
Pachuca played as if the game started 0-0, giving DC chances on the counter while pushing their own offense. With Zach Wells strong in goal, it was United that got the best looks in the first half, including a denied penalty call in the 43rd minute.
"It’s a PK anywhere in the world and it’s disappointing, because our guys earned and deserved better," said DC coach Tom Soehn.
Houston 0 – Saprissa 3
In the game that did start even, the injuries to Houston’s regular starting keeper and the defense playing in front of backup Tony Caig only got worse. Criag Waibel had to be subbed out in the 6th, forcing Dominic Kinnear to put in Brian Mullan, a player not fully recovered from his own injury.
Saprissa took 35 minutes before hitting the opener, a credit to the destabilized Houston defense. They added a second in the 48th, and got clear with Caig outside of the box to walk a 77th minute goal in.
Like the early game, the expected route for the Houston attack never really materialized, with Brian Ching getting one solid chance in the second half forcing a good save.
New England 3 – Kansas City 1
In League play, the Revolution also had the injury excuse, missing three regular starters including Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston. Instead, they again got production from Sainey Nyassi, Kenny Mansally to beat Kansas City 3-1.
Kansas City opened the scoring in the 12th for the Revs, putting the ball in the back of their own net trying to clear a freekick. Though they got a 28th minute equalizer from the spot, the Wizards were down 3-1 at the half. Restarts told the story, with New England dominating their limited chances and Kansas City unable to get a goal from ten corners.
"We had an awful lot of chances to make sure that we were in the game, at least to probably get a tie," said KC coach Curt Onalfo. "Unfortunately things didn’t go our way tonight."