In their 26th match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season, D.C. United won 4-2 over FC Cincinnati in a high-scoring game at Audi Field. United moved to sixth place with 37 points in the Eastern Conference with eight matches left to play.
D.C. United started with Bill Hamid in goal and Donovan Pines, Steven Birnbaum, and Andy Najar in defense. Kevin Paredes and Julian Gressel played as the two wing backs with Júnior Moreno and Russell Canouse partnered in central midfield. Paul Arriola, Ola Kamara, and Edison Flores started as the front three for the Black-and-Red.
D.C. United got off to a quick start, opening the scoring in the seventh minute. Julian Gressel took a quick corner and after a give-and-go with Edison Flores, found Paul Arriola open in the box, who finished from close range for the 1-0 lead. In the 21st minute, the Black-and-Red won a free kick 20-yards from goal. Gressel found Steven Birnbaum from the set piece and his header doubled the lead. Bill Hamid’s best save of the night came in the 36th minute when he denied Allan Cruz’s shot. The ball rebounded and was struck by Luciano Acosta first-time but the former Black-and-Red midfielder was denied by the woodwork. Arriola then scored his second of the night with a low-driven shot after Gressel’s cross took a slight deflection and found him wide open on the left side to close out the half leading 3-0.
The Black-and-Red started the second half with the same high-press and within the first 15 minutes, United had already created seven attempts on goal. In the 62nd minute, Hamid came up with another brilliant save to deny Brenner and keep Cincinnati off the scoreboard. In the 72nd minute, D.C. United scored their fourth goal after Birnbaum sent a long-ball to Nigel Robertha, who finished calmly past Przemyslaw Tyton despite offside appeals. Brandon Vázquez came on as a 80th minute substitute for Cincinnati and within seconds, his shot from outside the box deflected past Bill Hamid to make it 4-1. Luciano Acosta to cut the deficit in half when his shot found the back of the net in the 84th minute. The Black-and-Red held on to their two-goal cushion and the game ended 4-2 at Audi Field.
D.C. United’s next match is at Audi Field against Minnesota United FC on Wednesday, September 29 with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Tune into NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.