- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 3, 2003

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Dema Kovalenko’s goal in the 79th minute last night broke a tie and gave D.C. United its first road victory of the season, 3-1 over the Dallas Burn at Dragon Stadium.

It was United’s first victory against the Burn (2-7-3) in seven meetings since Aug.7, 1998.

United forward Ali Curtis, while falling down, passed to Ben Olsen streaking down the left side, and Olsen slid the ball to the top of the box where Kovalenko was waiting behind the defense.

Kovalenko’s goal silenced a home crowd that was still buzzing about a penalty shot by Burn forward Jason Kreis that tied the game 1-1 four minutes earlier. The penalty kick came after a scuffle by Kreis and United defender Brandon Prideaux in the D.C. box. Prideaux received a yellow card, and Kreis was awarded the kick.

The penalty was one of a series of fouls during the second half. United (3-4-6) picked up four yellow cards in the half, three for reckless play and one for the Prideaux-Kreis infraction.

Prideaux’s card against Kreis was his second of the game, but the officials didn’t realize it and he remained on the field for the rest of the game.

United midfielder Ryan Nelson scored his first goal of the season in the 29th minute when Burn defender Shavar Thomas slid in front of goalkeeper D.J. Countess and the ball deflected off both players to an unchecked Nelson.

United forward Hristo Stoitchkov sealed the game in the 88th minute with a bending shot off the post from about 40 yards out.

“It’s the best we’ve played all season,” D.C. United coach Ray Hudson said. “We worked and earned the first goal. We played some wonderful football from the first minute, and though we hit some bumps in the road along the way we still had the mindset that we were going to win the game.”

The win gets United back on a positive track after its four-game unbeaten streak was snapped by Columbus on Saturday. United trails the fourth-place Columbus Crew by four points and is seven points out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

“This game tonight is a credit to that undressing in Columbus,” Hudson said.

Notes — United was again without Marco Etcheverry, who did not make the trip because he needed a rest, according to the team. … Midfielder Bobby Convey was out serving a one-game suspension for accumulating too many yellow cards.

Earthquakes 4, MetroStars 4 (OT)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Clint Mathis had two goals — one in the final minute of regulation — and an assist as the MetroStars tied San Jose.

Brian Ching scored twice for San Jose, which also got goals from Landon Donovan and Manny Lagos. Amado Guevara and Mike Magee had the other goals for the MetroStars.

The game left the MetroStars (6-4-3) in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Fire. San Jose (6-2-5) remains the leader in the Western Conference.

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