For the first time in 65 days, D.C. United have earned a point.
After conceding an own goal – and benefiting from a first-half goal by Sporting Kansas City that was incorrectly called offside – D.C. (1-8-2, 5 points) snapped their dismal seven-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium.
Six minutes after an own goal by United defender Ethan White gave Kansas City (6-4-3, 21 points) the lead after an hour of play, D.C. midfielder Kyle Porter scored his first MLS goal, sliding to knock in a beautiful cross by substitute Chris Pontius and level the score in the 66th minute.
Sporting should have taken the lead in the 29th minute after defender Matt Besler cut the ball back for Joseph Peterson, who slipped it to into open space at the back post for defender Ike Opara to tap into an open net. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid put his hand up pleading for an offside call. So too did the referee’s assistant, saving D.C. from conceding another first-half goal, although replays showed that Opara was clearly onside on the play.
Kansas City dominated play during the first 45 minutes and finally took the lead in the second half on White’s own goal, which came via a corner kick by Graham Zusi. Opara jumped to head the ball, and appeared to get a glancing touch before it deflected off White’s head and into the net.
Pontius, who missed United’s previous two matches with a groin injury, subbed on at halftime and delivered a beautiful ball to Porter for United’s sixth goal of the season. Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic was tight to the first-year MLS midfielder, but couldn’t keep Porter from slipping a picture-perfect finish inside the back post.
In the 77th minute, a scramble in front of D.C.’s net following a corner kick saw Lawrence Olum, who replaced an injured Peterson Joseph in the first half, fail to get the ball past Hamid, who loomed large in goal for United down the stretch.
Three minutes after that, Hamid made another diving stop on Bieler’s right-footed shot from the top of the area to keep the game knotted at 1-1. The young ‘keeper finished with five saves and snuffed out a number of dangerous Sporting chances.
United will next play host to Portland on Saturday.