Wayne Rooney converted a penalty kick for his sixth goal of the season, and Luciano Acosta added his third in D.C. United's 3-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC on Saturday, which had the losers most bothered by the decisions of referee Ted Unkel.
The loss was Columbus' fifth straight, and came after two replay reviews overturned an apparent Columbus goal and then awarded a penalty kick for D.C. moments before halftime.
Meanwhile, hosts D.C. (6-3-2, 20 points) snapped a three-match scoreless stretch at Audi Field to remain second in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Philadelphia Union but behind on the second tiebreak, goal differential.
Paul Arriola also added his second of the season after halftime to ice things for United, who gave back a goal late when goalkeeper Bill Hamid failed to catch Robinho's corner kick and spilled it into his own net.
Columbus (4-6-1, 13 points) had the slightly better early chances, and then appeared to have taken the lead in the 22nd minute when Pedro Santos finished off a counterattack created by a D.C. turnover.
The giveaway occurred when Unkel appeared to collide with Acosta, with Crew midfielder Wil Trapp in the vicinity. After consulting with video assistant referee Kevin Terry Jr., Unkel took a second look at the play, then waived the goal off, ruling Trapp fouled Acosta on the play.
Within five minutes of the overturned goal, D.C. United were on the board on the other end. Leonardo Jara took down a diagonal free kick near the back post, and although he had the ball poked away from him, Acosta was first to reach it, smashing it past goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Then in first-half stoppage time, Terry alerted Unkel to the possibility of another handling foul on Trapp when Acosta tried to play a return ball to Rooney inside the penalty area.
Unkel reviewed the play and ruled Trapp had handled the pass deliberately, pointing to the spot for a penalty kick. Rooney stepped up and converted to put United up 2-0 in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time.
Arriola sealed the victory with a 61st-minute tally, slamming a shot low inside the far post after Jara' back-heeled a pass from the right side of the box.