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D.C. United's Wayne Rooney saves game with tackle, wins with assist

By Alex Butler
D.C. United's Wayne Rooney saves game with tackle, wins with assist
D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney (9) had the game-winning assist in Sunday's victory against Orland City in Washington, D.C. File Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Wayne Rooney made back-to-back game-winning plays to help D.C. United beat Orlando City in stoppage time.

The brilliance came late in United's 3-2 win Sunday at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. The first play occurred when the British soccer star chased down Will Johnson, who was sprinting down the left flank and eyeing United's empty net for the game-winning score. Instead, Rooney sprinted the length of the field to track down the striker before he stole the ball from Johnson with a slide tackle. He then regained control of the ball and dribbled down the right side of the field.

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He spotted Luciano Acosta running toward the far post and ripped a long cross toward the midfielder. Acosta tracked the cross, waiting for it to come down from the sky, before heading it into the far post netting and beating Joe Bendik for the game-winning strike.

Acosta had a hat-trick in the triumph. He scored his first goal just before halftime to give United a 1-0 edge. David Ousted then scored an own goal, tying the game at 1-1 in the 50th minute. Acosta gave United another edge with a score in the 64th minute before Dom Dwyer made the equalizer for Orlando.

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But Acosta had the last word when he finished the cross from Rooney.

"It was strange. We went from losing the game, basically, to winning in the space of five seconds," Rooney said. "It's great, they're the best games of football to win. Of course, we should've done better against 10 men so it's something we can look at to try and improve. But it's great, especially with the game coming up on Wednesday, it was a big win for us."

United faces the Portland Timbers at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Audi Field. Orlando battles Atlanta United at 8 p.m. Aug. 24 at Orlando City Stadium.

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"[Rooney] made a hell of a play and it showed what he's about," United coach Ben Olsen said. "I think we'll see that more and more from him here. He's a a selfless winner and has come here to prove himself, even though he doesn't need to. He's here to raise level of the group, including myself. And today, that play is indicative of who he is."

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