In their 27th match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season, D.C. United won 3-1 against Minnesota United FC after a dominant display at Audi Field. The victory propelled United into third place with 40 points in the Eastern Conference with six games remaining in the regular season.
D.C. United started quickly and set the tempo of the game early with an effective high-press. Within the first 10 minutes, Ola Kamara and Yordy Reyna both had goal scoring opportunities, but were unable to convert. At the 20-minute mark, Andy Najar took on Chase Gasper one-on-one in the box and was taken down, earning the Black-and-Red a penalty. Kamara stepped up to take it, and without hesitation converted for the 1-0 lead and his league-leading 17th goal of the season.
With five minutes left in the first half, Minnesota found an equalizer against the run of play through a set piece nodded home by United defender Bakaye Dibassy for the equalizer. The Black-and-Red answered quickly in the 45th minute when Kamara beat two men down the right wing and found Gressel in the box, who took one touch to set himself before burying a low-driven shot. United took a 2-1 lead into half-time.
United started the second half just like the first -- on the front foot -- and were rewarded with their second penalty of the night after Russell Canouse was fouled in the area. Kamara stepped up to take it, but this time was stopped by Tyler Miller. Just minutes later, Bill Hamid kept the Black-and-Red’s lead intact with an acrobatic diving stop to keep Fragapane’s header from reaching the top corner.
In the 72nd minute, the home side nearly stretched their lead to two goals as Julian Gressel picked out Donovan Pines from a free kick only to see the center back’s bicycle kick attempt whistle just by the post. The Black-and-Red did find the net for the third time just one minute later as Paul Arriola latched onto an Edison Flores pass before curling expertly into the far corner. After a VAR review however, the goal was deemed to be offside. The breakthrough for the third goal finally came in the 85th minute when Edison Flores found second-half substitute Júnior Moreno at the top of the box. The Venezuelan international’s shot deflected past Miller for his first career goal for D.C. United.
D.C. United will travel to Exploria Stadium to face-off against Orlando City SC on Saturday, October 2, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Tune into NBC Sports Washington Plus, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.