Responding to Coach Wayne Rooney’s emphasis, DC United started with their quickest tempo so far this season. The quality brought to the team by the addition of Christian Benteke was clear from the beginning and culminated in the 22nd minute as the striker finished off an excellent Chris Durkin cross for the game’s first goal.
Miami picked up their own tempo and Leonardo Campana scored for them in the 39th minute. The second half started in similar fashion resulting in a Campana’s second in the 53rd minute. Their lead didn’t last long Taxi Fountas countered with a smartly struck goal in the 57th.
Those four goals differed for each side as Miami’s came about from goal area scrambles while DC’s showed skill in buildup and execution. United took 17 shots to put 5 on goal while Inter took 8 to put the same number on goal.
As the game approached its end, an errant pass in midfield led to a breakaway goal by Gonzalo Higuain 4 minutes into the 10 minutes added on. Interviews of Benteke and Victor Pallson shed some insight on the game.
Benteke observed that, “I think at times we showed some great football. We showed some character.”
Asked about the errant pass which turned into the final score, “We have to have more composure on the ball. The team needs more qualities in the final third.”
He gave his impression of fellow striker Taxi, “It’s the first game, we’re still getting to know each other – – – I’m sure next season will be on point.” Noting the need for improvement, he averred, “I think we can talk as much as we want, but we have to work harder.” He went on the express that the hard work in practice must be delivered on the pitch.
His viewpoint was echoed by Pallson, who explained how the practice is important. Familiarity is essential, “Like the coach has said, it’s difficult to come in in the middle of the season – – – He’s trying different things, trying different players. When we meet for the preseason we can have a whole preseason together and work on the things together and have the squad that he wants.
“I’m not saying that that’s any excuses – – – obviously we want to win – – – the consistency hasn’t been too great – – – Hopefully time will help. We need to learn and take the positives from the training sessions and every game that we play. Hopefully we can end the season well and then start fresh.”
On the dynamics of play he observed, “Sometimes the game is more open, sometimes you go into more of a block to keep the shape and try to make it more difficult to play through us – – – Today was a day when you needed maybe that last pass or that last action on the offense or in the defense when you needed that last concentration. Unfortunately, it’s been the story of the season and we really need to keep our heads up for the last two games.”
Although the team has struggled through a very trying season, the fans continue to show up and create a great atmosphere in support of United. There is a beauty in soccer that keeps them coming back. As long as their efforts are apparent the fans will come.
Soccer is a game aesthetic.
Its energy – potential,
Comes to life when it’s kinetic.
And discipline refines the otherwise frenetic.
The game is all anticipation.
When played with style, it’s syncopation.
You swing the ball from left to right.
You see the space and see what might
Become, with skill, a sweet delight.
A trophy stands for those who’ve won.
But after all is said and done,
It’s how you strove and what’s inside
That gives the team a lifelong pride.
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