Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed a penalty in a shootout as DC United were knocked out of the MLS play-offs in the first round by Columbus Crew. He took the first penalty after the match had finished 2-2 following extra time, but his shot was saved by Zack Steffen.
Teammates Luciano Acosta and Nick DeLeon also missed from the spot as DC lost the shootout 3-2. Earlier, DeLeon’s effort in the 116th minute had sent the game to penalties.
Frederic Brillant had given DC the lead in the 21st minute, before Federico Higuain – the brother of AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain – scored twice for Crew.
“It’s disappointing to lose on penalties but as a team, we can be extremely proud of what we have achieved in the last few months,” Rooney said.
“Really we had no right to make the play-offs. To do that we have brought belief back to the fans, the team and we have to build on that.”
DC United were bottom of the Eastern Conference when Rooney, Manchester United’s record scorer, joined from his boyhood club, Everton, in June.
Rooney, who was made captain after three games, scored 12 goals and provided seven assists as DC United clinched a play-off spot with a game to spare.
Elsewhere, Los Angeles FC’s debut MLS season ended in defeat as they lost 3-2 to Real Salt Lake, with ex-Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha playing full 90 minutes for Real.
There will be plenty of British interest in the conference semi-finals, with Onuoha, New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips and Scotland international Johnny Russell of Sporting Kansas all involved.
The conference semi-finals are played over two legs between 4 and 11 November.
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