Pontius hat trick powers United past Sounders
Chris Pontius scored his first career hat trick, with two
goals late in the first half and another after the break,
to give D.C. United a 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders on
Thursday night in the final Major League Soccer game
before the World Cup.
D.C. United (3-8-1) ran its unbeaten streak to three games
(2-0-1) and picked up its first road points of the season
after losing its first four away from RFK Stadium.
Pontius’ hat trick was the third in the league this season
and gave United a 3-0 lead. The Sounders (4-6-3) scored
twice late in the game – James Riley in the 90th minute
and Fredy Montero during the first minute of stoppage time
– to make it close.
Pontius put United on the board late in the 39th minute
with his first of the season.
He got the ball just beyond the top of the arc and wasn’t
able to shoot, but kept control and let fly with a shot
that glanced off the back of Sounders midfielder Patrick
Ianni and flew past goalkeeper Kasey Keller into the net.
Near the midpoint of the 44th minute, again just outside
the arc, Pontius dribbled in to the top of the box and
fired a shot that Keller, playing six yards off his line,
deflected but couldn’t grab. The ball squirted toward the
goal, and Keller reacted in time to double back and get
his hands on it, but it glanced off the post and into the
Late in the 79th minute, Pontius, playing just inside the
top left corner of the box, headed a free kick from
Santino Quaranta toward the far post. Keller leaped after
it, but the ball tucked inside the post an instant before
he got there.
Riley drilled in a shot from the top right corner of the
box to make it 3-1, then Montero headed in a cross from
Freddie Ljungberg early in stoppage time to get the
Sounders within one before time ran out.
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