WASHINGTON – With the minutes slipping away, 10-men D.C. United looked consigned to defeat against the LA Galaxy.
Enter Charlie Davies to the rescue.
Coming into the game as a 53rd-minute sub for Blake Brettschneider, Davies was relatively quiet through most of his shift. But in the 89th minute, the forward found some breathing room—and the ball. Running at Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, Davies drew contact and went down in the box.
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: D.C. United 1, LA Galaxy 1
“Obviously we’re down a goal, and I’m one-on-one,” Davies said after the match. “Every time I’m one-on-one, I’m going to go at you. We’re in the box, and I’m able to take a good step over and get by Omar [Gonzalez], but he put his arm into my chest and knocked me off balance.”
Referee Abby Okulaja pointed to the spot, handing DC a lifeline and a chance at a point against last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners.
While there was doubt and indecision over who might take penalty kicks for DC a few weeks ago against Columbus, there was little doubt who was taking this one. Davies picked up the ball, walked to the spot, and sent a calm chip down the middle to beat LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
“I knew I was going down the middle the whole time,” Davies said. “Ricketts is a big guy, I know he’s pretty quick and he’s going to get to a corner. If you put that ball in a corner, and he guesses, more than likely he’s going to get it.”
[inline_node:332811]Snatching a point from a losing position was good, especially in the night’s circumstances, down a man and with time running out.
But coach Ben Olsen says things have to be better. That would seem especially true in the offensive third. The team mustered only five total shots, getting just two on goal before Davies’ last-minute penalty.
“I’m happy that we battled back and found a way to get a tie,” Olsen said. “But overall, it’s not good enough, and that starts with me. I think we’re maybe fortunate tonight, and I’ll take the blame for that.”