WASHINGTON (AP) - D.C. United coach Ben Olsen told his team to learn from their quarterfinal exit in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Rookie Julian Buescher is doing just that.
Buescher scored his first professional goal in just his second match, providing a bright spot as D.C. was eliminated following a 1-1 draw against Queretaro on Tuesday night.
“It makes me a little bit more confident, and helps with the future for sure,” said Buescher, the 11th overall pick out of Syracuse in January’s MLS SuperDraft. “How good I am, I don’t know. That’s the coach’s part. But I’m just learning from the other guys.”
Angel Sepulveda scored early for Queretaro, which won the two-game quarterfinal series 3-1 on total goals to reach the semifinals in its first appearance in the tournament.
D.C. United lost 2-0 in Mexico in the first leg, and is eliminated in the quarterfinals for the second time in as many seasons ahead of their MLS regular-season opener at Los Angeles on Sunday.
After the game, Olsen said that the continental club championship was not an unwanted distraction.
“These experiences are great,” Olsen said. “Taking a team down to Mexico and playing in CONCACAF, coming back here, going through the aggregate system, you know it’s all experiences, and that’s how we learn.”
Tiago Volpi made nine saves for Queretaro, including a stop of Chris Rolfe’s penalty early in the second half.
Because away goals are the first tiebreaker, United would’ve needed four goals to advance once Queretaro took the lead on Sepulveda’s fourth-minute strike.
Between competition in CONCACAF and the MLS playoffs, D.C. has now lost five consecutive two-game, total-goals series, going back to 2012.
“A real takeaway of this series is, again, when you get yourself in these holes, it’s tough to get out,” Olsen said. “Three minutes in, and all of the sudden game’s over, just like that.”
Sepulveda scored in the fourth minute on an attack that began with Sinha’s cross from the right to Edgar Benitez at the back post. Benitez headed the ball back across the penalty area, and Sepulveda hammered a right-footed finish beyond D.C. goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.
Buescher came on as a 74th-minute substitute and scored 10 minutes later on a 30-yard, right-footed strike that sailed beyond Volpi’s dive and into the top corner.
“Ben told me in practice I have to shoot every day,” Buescher said of his coach. “I saw free space and I just had my shot and got lucky.”
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.
Click to Read More and View Comments
Click to Hide
Please read our comment policy before commenting.