Without Jairo Arrieta in the lineup, historical track record in RFK that ranks just north of abysmal, and D.C. United on a run of 18 games without a loss at home there was't too many reasons to be optimistic coming out of D.C. with a win and three points.
The Crew would come out of the gate strong, pressing United all over the field. Josh Williams had a clear look within a minute of kickoff and Ben Speas and Federico Higuain would also get shots off towards Bill Hamid's goal.
After a few early chances, Columbus would strike on a free kick in the 15th minute. Tyson Wahl sent in a bending left footed service that caught Bill Hamid between his line and attacking the ball. Williams took advantage looped a header to give the Crew an early lead.
Just minutes later, Higuain would rip a shot forcing a diving save by Hamid to keep the difference at one.
After nearly being down 2-0 early, D.C. would get a goal back quickly. Andy Gruenebaum sent a long ball to midfield, but it was headed back towards the back line. Glauber misjudged the bounce and allowed the Raphael, the 20 year old United Designated Player, to slip past and uncork a 35 yard equalizer. Gruenebaum was caught forward and the swerving shot skimmed past his diving attempt.
In the first controversy of the game, United would get a goal called back after a delayed offside call. James Riley passed the ball forward toward Lionard Pajoy who was in an offside position. Pajoy broke for the ball, but then checked his run. Kyle Porter ran onto the pass, cruising past the Crew back line that had stopped play, then finished off with a shot past Gruenebaum.
Referee Allan Chapman initially gave the goal, but after talking with assistant referee Craig Lowry before calling the offside call against Pajoy.
The blistering pace of the first half carried over after the break. Chad Marshall and Wahl would fire point blank shots that Hamid acrobatically parried aside to keep the game knotted at one.
The Crew breakthrough would come in the 57th minute off another set piece situation. Higuain sent in a bending free kick that Hamid parried. The clearance was contained by Speas at the top of the 18 yard box. He fired a low blistering shot through the defense and past Hamid.
D.C. United pressed for the equalizer and would have found it if it wasn't for the goalkeeping clinic that occurred at the Crew goalmouth. Gruenebaum saved a ferocious Pajoy header off the line, but the home team collected the clearance. He then parried Brandon McDonald's fierce shot. Dwayne DeRosario pounced on the rebound and fired from a close angle. Again, Gruenebaum was up to the task, parrying the shot from off the line.
United would press, but it would be the Crew that would nearly extend the lead on the counterattack. Before the United goalmouth scrum, Gaven fired a looping shot that forced Hamid to parry it over the bar. Late into stoppage time, Dominic Oduro would use his speed and fire another shot forcing an acrobatic Hamid save.
The Crew won for the first time at RFK since late 2010 and broke D.C. United's undefeated streak. Columbus moved to 2-1-1 with 7 points on the season. They are five points behind the high flying Montreal Impact. They have a bye next weekend, but return home to play the Philadelphia Union on April 6th.