Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - D.C. United extended its unbeaten streak to six matches on Saturday with a comfortable 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC at RFK Stadium.
Fabian Espindola netted a first-half goal and added an assist, while defender Sean Franklin found the net for D.C. United, which remained atop the Eastern Conference standings with 17 points.
Coming off a 4-1 thrashing of the Philadelphia Union last week, Columbus entered the match with supreme confidence, but they failed to create many quality chances and struggled to stop United on the counter-attack en route to their third defeat of the season.
The home side opened the scoring after 15 minutes when United set sail down the field on the break following a Columbus corner kick. Chris Rolfe did well to hold the ball just long enough before feeding it through to Espindola, who slid it past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark.
United doubled its advantage four minutes before the break when Espindola served a tantalizing ball into the box on a corner kick. Clark came out to claim the ball but collided with Kei Kamara, leaving Franklin free for the easy tap-in.
Holding the 2-0 lead at the break, United conceded possession to Columbus on the outside in the second 45 minutes and dropped six players into the middle of the park in hopes of creating a numerical advantage in the box to defend crosses.
United's tactical alteration worked to perfectly as the home squad held Columbus to just three attempts on target, none of which truly troubled D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid, as Ben Olsen's club held on through three minutes of added time to take three points.