D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew: Final score 3-2, United clinches playoff spot, eliminates Crew

Ned Dishman

A furious comeback capped off by a late winner clinched a playoff spot for D.C., while Columbus was eliminated from playoff contention.

D.C. United are going to the playoffs after a thrilling 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew. A rare sold out crowd was on hand at RFK Stadium to see D.C. pull off the 91st minute win and celebrate the home side's return to the postseason. But while United was elated to have clinched a spot in the postseason, the Crew were on the oppositie end of the spectrum, having been eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Columbus went in front after seven minutes through Eddie Gaven. Jairo Arrieta's header was deflected high and Gaven swooped in to get to the free ball. He was free from seven yards and cooly volleyed home to put the Crew on top.

That lead lasted until the 39th minute when Nick DeLeon equalized, but Columbus had a quick answer. Two minutes later, Arrieta created space for himself from 20 yards before firing off of the post. The ball then bounced back off of the diving Bill Hamid and into the net to restore the Crew's advantage.

D.C. was able to erase the Columbus lead again, this time in the 59th minute when Marcelo Saragosa converted a Brandon McDonald pass. From there on, the teams traded punches and looked set for a draw, but United had one more goal in them.

In stoppage time, Chris Korb played a good ball long for Branko Boskovic, who did a wonderful job getting it near the sideline and flicking it over the top for Lewis Neal. Neal was speeding down the middle unmarked and was able to easily beat Andy Gruenebaum to slot home the goal that sends D.C. to the playoffs.

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