Yamil Asad christened new stadium Audi Field with its first goal Saturday and Paul Arriola scored a brace in the second half as D.C. United frustrated the counterattacks of the Vancouver Whitecaps in a desperately needed 3-1 victory.
The game also saw the MLS debut of former Manchester United and Everton star Wayne Rooney, who contributed to two goals not long after entering the game.
D.C. United was in control through the first 10 minutes, setting the pace and getting opportunities, but the Whitecaps managed to hold their shape and keep the ball out of the net, with goalkeeper Brian Rowe coming up with a nice save.
In the 15th minute, the Whitecaps put a ton of pressure on United, but Felipe Martins’ shot went high over the goal.
Asad finally struck first, placing a shot perfectly over Rowe’s outstretched hands in the 27th minute, the ball tucking into the goal just under the crossbar.
The Whitecaps looked to strike back in the 32nd minute off a dangerous set piece on a free kick, but Kei Kamara’s header deflected off the crossbar.
Looking at a one-goal deficit as the second half started, the Whitecaps came out firing on all cylinders, controlling the pace and putting a lot of pressure on United’s back line.
Vancouver’s Doneil Henry just missed off a corner in the 52nd minute, the first really dangerous chance of the half, and headers went wide or high on a series of crosses.
With the pace not going United’s way, Rooney entered the game in the 58th minute, and the momentum seemed to swing to the host club.
In the 69th minute, Arriola, the beneficiary of a series of pinpoint passes that started with Rooney, dashed into the box and popped the ball past Rowe for the 2-0 lead.
The Whitecaps looked lost, chasing the ball, and failing to keep possession when they did get it, and generally looking listless and uninspired.
That allowed Arriola to strike again in the 80th minute from inside the box off a Rooney assist for his second goal of the game.
The Whitecaps came out of their funk in stoppage time. Alphonso Davies got a consolation goal in the 94th minute, robbing United goalkeeper David Ousted of his first clean sheet of the season against his former club.
—Field Level Media