Action from the Champions League match between DC United (USA) and Waterhouse FC (JAM) on August 20, 2014. (Photos: Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- D.C. United celebrated its return to the CONCACAF Champions League after a five-year absence with a 1-0 victory over Waterhouse FC in a Group 4 match on Wednesday.
U.S. international striker Eddie Johnson scored the lone goal and goalkeeper Joe Willis was solid in the net as United (1-0-0, 3 points) began its participation in the 2014/2015 competition at RFK Stadium.
D.C., which last competed in the tournament in 2009, extended its CCL unbeaten streak to five games (4-1-0) after going winless in its first 10 matches (0-3-7).
United used a lineup without many of its starters, eyeing two difficult road games against Major League Soccer rivals Sporting Kansas City on Saturday and at the LA Galaxy on August 27.
Neither team could take advantage of lackluster defending. Waterhouse’s backline looked out of sync, while United allowed the Jamaicans plenty of space in the defensive third.
Yet, the host managed to solve Waterhouse FC (1-0-1, 3 points) early. David Estrada ran down a long ball by Conor Shanosky on the right flank, beat Nicholy Finlayson and sent a short cross to Johnson, who found space on Evan Taylor and slammed the ball into the net past goalkeeper Richard McCallum from four yards in the fifth minute.
Waterhouse FC enjoyed much of the play in the first half, but Willis was up to the task, denying Jermaine Anderson with a kick save and Kenroy Howell from point-blank range in the 16th and 17th minutes, respectively.
In the second half, Willis caught or knocked everything sent his way. He snared Taylor's 30-yard free kick in the 90th minute and made a diving save to his left on Juvaune Benjamin's long-range blast two minutes into stoppage time.
Waterhouse FC will look to bounce back against Panama’s Tauro at home on August 28, while United will have to wait until September 16 before its next CCL match at the Jamaicans.
To view the DC United vs Waterhouse FC Highlights, click here.