D.C. United defeated CF Montréal 2-1 in their 18th match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) Regular Season. United were able to come back from an early deficit to win their second straight match and fourth in a row at home thanks to goals by Andy Najar and Ola Kamara. The victory moves United to 27 points on the season and one point off of third in the Eastern Conference.
United started with Jon Kempin in goal and Andy Najar, FrédéricBrillant, and Tony Alfaro as the back three with Julian Gressel and Joseph Mora as the two wingbacks. Junior Moreno and Moses Nyeman partnered in the middle of the park and Paul Arriola, Kevin Paredes, and Ola Kamara played as the front three.
The Black-and-Red found themselves in a one-goal deficit after a cross turned shot found its way into the back of the net over an outstretched Kempin in the 16th minute. United responded well and controlled the play for the remainder of the half and were rewarded with a breakthrough in the 40th minute. Julian Gressel whipped in a perfect cross of a set piece and Andy Najar rose highest to head home. The goal was Najar’s first of the season and first for D.C. United since September 29, 2011. The teams went into halftime tied 1-1.
D.C. United’s high pressure was the difference in the second half. The high-press gave Montreal all sorts of troube and the host’s efforts were rewarded in the 54th minute with the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal by Ola Kamara. Tony Alfaro stepped in to nick the ball off a Montreal forward about thirty yards out from goal and played it into Kamara’s feet, the Norweigen center forward took one touch, picked-up his head and curled it clinically into the bottom corner. The goal was the tenth of the season for Kamara – which is good for second most in the league – and his ninth in his last eight matches. The assist was Alfaro’s first for D.C. United. United nearly found another goal right after, as the high pressure once again led to a turnover with the ball falling right to Kevin Paredes in the middle of the box, but his shot was blocked by a defender into the goalkeeper’s arms. United maintained their strong defensive effort for the remainder of the match, only allowing two shots in the second half. United held on to win 2-1.
D.C. United’s next match is against Nashville SC on Sunday, August 15 at 7:00 PM ET. Tune into NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.