D.C. United turns around Revolution in 4-1 rout Wegerle, Moreno goals give club 1-0 playoff lead

October 06, 1997|By Lowell E. Sunderland | Lowell E. Sunderland,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- The Orioles aren't the only pro players in these parts who can lift their game once fall playoffs begin.

D.C. United, which lost its last two home games after clinching Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference, turned the juice back on last night at RFK Stadium.

Highlighted by three long, textbook breakaway goals, two by veteran forward Roy Wegerle, United buried the New England Revolution, 4-1, in the teams' opening MLS-East playoff game.

Fast Bolivian forward Jaime Moreno, who created havoc in the Revolution backfield all night, had the other two United goals in front of 12,540.

"We overpowered them," Wegerle said. "There were two upsets [in other MLS playoff games Saturday and yesterday] and we wanted to make sure it didn't happen to us."

Moreno, MLS's top goal-scorer this season, downplayed the indvidual effort. "This is nothing yet," he said. "We have to win Wednesday, but the team played really well tonight."

The best-of-three series continues Wednesday at Foxboro (Mass.) Stadium, with the third game, if needed, back at RFK on Sunday.

Both of Moreno's goals saw him leave Revolution defender Alexi Lalas behind on the way to the goal. His second, making the XTC score 4-0 in the 76th minute, was a 40-yard race against Lalas that he easily won, shooting past goalkeeper Walter Zenga's left. Midfielders Tony Sanneh and Richie Williams both had assists.

In the 65th minute, Moreno spun hard off Lalas in the penalty box to beat Zenga for his first goal off a slick feed by defender David Vaudreuil.

Wegerle, a midseason acquisition for United, scored the first two United goals. His second, in the 54th minute, finished a breathtaking sequence that began some 15 yards deep in United territory.

Playmaker Marco Etcheverry slipped a pass through several Revolution defenders at midfield to the streaking Sanneh, who sped into the right side of the box, cutting a diagonal ball left, through Moreno's defense-freezing dummy to the oncoming Wegerle 4 yards from the far post. He put the ball over the sliding Zenga.

Wegerle's first goal was in the 13th minute on another textbook breakaway that Vaudreuil initiated around midfield. After a short run with the ball, the one-time Blast player chipped about 25 yards to the breaking Moreno down the right side.

Moreno collected on the run and squared a crisp pass in front of the goal. The cutting Wegerle redirected it in past a couple of retreating Revolution defenders and Zenga from about 5 yards.

The Revolution's Mike Burns, a defender who had moved forward, put in a face-saving goal from about 18 yards in the 89th minute.

United, which had the most regulation wins in MLS this season and is the defending MLS Cup champion, controlled much of the second half play against the fourth-place Revolution, which barely made the playoffs.

In the first half, the teams made multiple runs on goal, but United's were, for the most part, crisper and created better chances.

Pub Date: 10/06/97

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