• Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

    D.C. United edges Tauro, extends winning streak

    Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between visiting D.C. United (black jersey) and Tauro FC on October 21, 2014, at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Omar Sanchez)

    PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Conor Shanosky scored on a fortunate first-half header as D.C. United concluded a perfect Group 4 run in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) with a 1-0 victory over Tauro FC at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez on Tuesday night. 

    Lewis Neal’s free kick -- combined with a deflection of an attempted clearing header -- led to the goal for United (4-0-0, 12 points), which is guaranteed one of the top four seeds in next year’s CCL quarterfinals. 

    D.C., which clinched the group crown at home last month against Tauro, advanced beyond the group phase for the first time in three attempts. 

    Tauro acquitted itself well and outshot the visitors, 21-7, but fell for the eighth consecutive time in the competition. 

    Shanosky found the back of the net for the first time in his United career in the 24th minute. 

    Neal curled the set piece into the box.  A Tauro defender’s attempted header then smacked straight off Shanosky’s head and looped back into the goal, beyond helpless goalkeeper Kevin Melgar. 

    Tauro’s best stretch came almost immediately afterwards.

    Vidal Gonzalez could have leveled in the 32nd minute, but sailed high on his second touch after Christian Lopez Chamorro’s diagonal ball unlocked the D.C. defense. 

    Four minutes later, Juan Vargas turned nicely to fire an effort at goalkeeper Joe Willis, who made an initial block and then smothered it on the second attempt. 

    Then, Reinel Herrera whistled a 25-yard shot only inches wide of Willis' top left corner in the 41st minute. 

    United were better after halftime. 

    Collin Martin thought he’d doubled the lead in the 56th minute, finishing the rebound of Neal’s fine side-volley attempt only to be ruled offsides correctly. 

    Melgar then palmed away Jared Jeffrey’s long-range strike, before Kyle Porter headed substitute Chris Korb’s cross just wide of the left post in the 65th minute.

    Tauro pressured until the end and came closest to equalizing five minutes from time when, Alejandro Velez’s 24-yard free kick nicked the top of Willis’ crossbar.  Herrera forced another diving save out of Willis in stoppage time.

    Melgar finished with five saves, while Willis made three.

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