- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Devon McTavish, who scored his first goal for D.C. United in last week’s tie at Jamaican club Harbour View, added two more last night in the return game as United breezed to a 5-0 win before 12,394 at RFK Stadium.

McTavish, who didn’t score in his two previous seasons with the team, helped United claim the two-leg series on a 6-1 aggregate score, sending it to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.

“It’s all about being in the right place at the right time,” McTavish said. “Getting in the good spots and getting the balls.”

Striker Luciano Emilio also scored two goals, and midfielder Fred added another.

United played a scrappy, scoreless game for the first 25 minutes despite multiple wayward passes and turnovers.

Five United players — Marcelo Gallardo, Gonzalo Peralta, Franco Niell, Gonzalo Martinez and Zach Wells — made their home debuts.

The breakthrough came in the 26th minute from McTavish, who was playing on the right flank in place of injured veteran Ben Olsen.

Gallardo set up the goal with a free kick from 35 yards out on the left side of the field. The ball took a bounce in the 6-yard box, where McTavish, running in from the right, tapped the ball past goalie Dwayne Miller.

“Marcelo put in a dangerous ball, and I was just fortunate to get in at the back post,” McTavish said.

Gallardo, the club’s most expensive signing, came close to scoring his first goal when he hit the crossbar on a free kick just before the break.

In the 63rd minute, Fred played a give-and-go with Emilio and then back-heeled the ball to his Brazilian countryman, who fired from eight yards out to make it 2-0.

Emilio notched his second score three minutes later when he headed in a rebound after Santino Quaranta’s shot was blocked by the goalie. Quaranta, playing his first home game since returning to the club with which he started his career at 16, set up United’s fourth goal with some fine footwork before passing to McTavish, who easily slotted home his third goal in two games.

Fred completed the rout after circling the goalie on a solo effort with two minutes left.

“We still have a lot to work on, but those were some good signs today,” United coach Tom Soehn said.

United now will play the winner of the Motagua (Honduras)-Pachuca (Mexico) series in the semifinals April 2 and 9.

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