Wayne Rooney’s remarkable debut campaign in MLS came to an abrupt end as the former England captain missed a penalty in a shootout defeat to Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
DC United had been struggling at the foot of the table when Rooney arrived in July, but he had an instant impact and was a key player in an unbeaten run of 10 games that came to an end with a 3-2 defeat on penalties in the MLS Cup knockout round at Audi Field.
The game had finished at 2-2 after 120 minutes in a back-and-forth match that saw Frederic Brillant and Federico Higuain take the game to extra-time, before another from Higuain was cancelled out by Nick DeLeon to take the game to penalties.
Rooney, who scored 12 times for DC United since joining, was the first to miss from the spot with his effort beaten away by goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who then went on to denty Luciano Acosta.
DeLeon, who scored the 116th-minute equaliser, could not find the target in the shootout, sending Columbus to the semi-finals for the second year in a row.
In the night’s second game, Real Salt Lake booked their spot in the Western Conference semi-finals with a 3-2 win over Los Angeles FC.
Damir Kreilach put Real ahead after 21 minutes, with Danilo Silva levelling the score after the break.
Christian Ramirez struck in the 54th minute to give LAFC the lead, but Kreilach got his second four minutes later to tie the score at 2-2.
LAFC’s season was brought to end as Jefferson Savarino’s shot deflected off Walker Zimmerman’s head for an own goal in the 69th minute, and Real held out out in seven minutes of extra time to progress to the semis for the first time in four years.