Jaime Moreno scored his third goal in the playoffs and Ben Olsen scored his first Sunday as Washington D.C. United beat the Columbus Crew, 2-1, before 14,529 at Washington in the first game of their best-of-three series for the Eastern Conference title.
Game 2 is next Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, as Washington seeks its fourth conference title in a row.
The United took the lead in the 15th minute when Moreno tapped home a close range shot after Eddie Pope had flicked on a header from Marco Etcheverry's corner kick.
The Crew, now 0-12 at RFK Stadium, only managed one shot on goal in the first half.
The second goal came in the 72nd minute when Olsen fired in a low left-footer from 12 yards after receiving John Maessner's cross from the left flank.
After a late offensive surge, Columbus finally scored in 82nd minute when Brian McBride headed a pass from Stern John into the path of Jeff Cunningham who shot past Tom Presthus from 10 yards out.