The playoff party for D.C. United has been halted (at least temporarily) by Eddie Gaven and Jairo Arrieta of the Columbus Crew, who each have scored to give the visitors a 2-1 halftime lead over D.C. United Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
Gaven, who scored his 9th goal of the season, took advantage of some less-than-alert play by the home side when he pounced on a loose ball from Arrieta's blocked attempted header and thrashed it past a charging Bill Hamid into the net.
The home side thought they had a decent penalty shout when Chris Pontius went down in the box, but referee Edvin Jursevic waved play on.
Persistence paid off for D.C. United in the 39th minute when Nick DeLeon materialized at the far post to turn in Lionard Pajoy's rolling shot, which had eluded Andy Gruenebaum. Undeterred, Columbus re-took the lead moments later when Arrieta's shot deflected off the post, off Hamid's heel, and into the corner of the net.
United entered the match needing just a draw to clinch its first MLS Cup playoff berth since 2007. The Black-And-Red have gone unbeaten in five straight games entering this match, and have not lost at RFK Stadium since March. United can also clinch a playoff spot if they lose if the Houston Dynamo also fall to the Philadelphia Union Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.