Christian Benteke makes D.C. United harmful, nevertheless it nonetheless attracts, 0-0


Christian Benteke’s Audi Discipline debut Sunday was notable for a diving bid from shut vary, a penalty kick try and a strong header. It was additionally momentous for the Belgian striker — recent off 10 years within the Premier League and the meant answer to D.C. United’s scoring points — failing to complete his possibilities.

Benteke was influential and harmful. He made United higher. Coach Wayne Rooney known as him “a handful.” However within the greatest moments, Benteke got here up empty throughout a 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids.

The most important alternative got here within the 66th minute, when he didn’t convert a penalty kick.

“It’s been a good night until I missed my penalty,” mentioned Benteke, who made his MLS debut as an alternative Wednesday in opposition to New York Metropolis FC. “I was just missing that goal to have the perfect night.”

Rooney, a former Manchester United and English nationwide workforce striker, empathized.

“I’ve missed a few penalties,” he mentioned. “Messi and Ronaldo have missed penalties as well.”

Assessing the try, Rooney mentioned, “It’s not the best penalty; it’s a good save as well.”

The lack to attain — for the thirteenth time this season — pierced United’s possibilities of successful consecutive matches for the primary time because the first two video games of the marketing campaign. United (7-17-5) has gained as soon as at residence previously 3½ months.

The goal-less effort, earlier than an introduced 16,502, got here in opposition to a Colorado workforce (8-12-9) that had conceded 10 objectives within the earlier two matches.

Benteke did change D.C.’s look and strategy, serving as a powerful goal man and drawing fixed consideration. Along with his again to the aim, he allowed the assault to construct round him. Going through the goal, he took on defenders and offered United with a menacing high quality within the field.

“He showed a lot in what he can bring to the team,” Rooney mentioned.

United dominated a lot of the first half, using Martín Rodríguez’s prowess and Benteke’s presence to create hazard in and across the penalty space. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough wasn’t examined, although.

Benteke missed a beautiful alternative six minutes into the match, failing to place a diving header on course after Rodríguez expertly floated the ball into the field.

The second half was laborious for United, which couldn’t play on the identical tempo or with the identical midfield effectiveness. Captain Steven Birnbaum crossed the yellow card threshold, leading to a one-game suspension subsequent weekend.

Then the insanity began. In an aerial battle with Benteke within the field, Colorado defender Keegan Rosenberry (Georgetown) obtained his arm up and was whistled for a handball.

Whereas the Rapids griped, pausing the sport for about two minutes, Benteke waited. By the point he struck the penalty kick, Yarbrough appeared prepared for it. He dived to his proper and made a hand save.

A second later, Benteke’s highly effective six-yard header, off Rodríguez’s nook kick, streaked towards the highest of the online. Felipe Gutíerrez, standing on the aim line, headed it away.

Different issues weren’t going United’s manner. Rodríguez left with a decrease leg damage, and goalkeeper David Ochoa spilled a rebound within the six-yard field. Later, Colorado’s Gyasi Zardes redirected the ball narrowly large.

In a single harrowing sequence, United blocked three pictures and survived one other scare.

“We hung on in the end, which is a positive that we didn’t lose the game,” Rooney mentioned. “A point in the end, you take it, but I’m still disappointed that we didn’t take all three.”

Right here’s what else to find out about United’s draw:

All-star attacker Taxi Fountas, United’s main scorer with 11 objectives, missed his second consecutive match with a concussion, suffered Aug. 28 in Atlanta.

Goalkeeper Rafael Romo (13 begins, 2.45 objectives in opposition to common) was upgraded to questionable late within the week after recovering from a concussion however was not chosen for the sport day roster. Jon Kempin backed up Ochoa.

Invoice Hamid (hand surgical procedure June 30) is not on the damage checklist and is continuous to work on health and sharpness. He has not performed since Could 28.

Jonathan Benteke, Christian’s youthful brother, signed with second-division Loudoun United. He made his debut Sunday, changing a late penalty kick throughout a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in Leesburg.

Loudoun is his seventh membership since 2013; he has frolicked with England’s Crystal Palace (the place he and his brother had been teammates) and Oldham. Final season, he scored seven objectives for Wegberg-Beeck within the German fourth division.

United will play three of the subsequent 4 on the highway, starting Saturday in opposition to Actual Salt Lake and persevering with three days later in Kansas Metropolis, Kan. After a house date with Inter Miami on Sept. 18, D.C. will make its last journey of the season Oct. 1 to Montreal earlier than closing Oct. 9 at residence in opposition to Cincinnati.

Sunday started a stretch of three matches over three days at Audi Discipline. Monday will function an NCAA males’s recreation between Maryland (1-1-1) and Virginia (2-1-0), beginning at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, the U.S. ladies’s nationwide workforce will make its Audi Discipline debut in opposition to Nigeria. Kickoff is ready for six:08 p.m.

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