On Wednesday night, D.C. United faced off against the New York Red Bulls in one of the oldest rivalries in MLS. Both teams were neck-and-neck in the Eastern Conference standings, so the Black-and-Red were looking for a win and hopefully a boost in the playoff race.
The match didn’t start out well for D.C. United. In the 6th minute, Kaku found the ball at his feet and launched it past goalkeeper Bill Hamid for the first goal of the match.
After a few strong chances for the New York Red Bulls, the Black-and-Red started to build some attacking momentum in the first fifteen minutes. But in the 22nd minute, Cristian Casseres Jr. went down in the D.C. United box. While he received treatment, the referee consulted VAR and decided to give Wayne Rooney a red card. With most of the game still left to play, the Black-and-Red were down a player and a goal behind.
The rest of the first half played out as a midfield battle, with both teams creating a few close chances. During the five minutes of first-half stoppage time, Amro Tarek brought down Paul Arriola outside of the 18-yard box and received his second yellow of the night, resulting in a red card and his ejection from the game. D.C. United couldn’t even the scoreline before they went to the half, but they did even the number of players.
Less than ten minutes into the first half, the Black-and-Red evened the match at 1-1. In his first MLS goal for the Black-and-Red, Ola Kamara launched a rocket from outside the 18-yard box. He sent goalkeeper Luis Robles flying, but the ball had too much power and too much height as it curled into the top right corner of the match.
But the even score didn’t last long. In the 57th minute, Michael Murillo went down in the box and the referee awarded the New York Red Bulls a penalty kick. Daniel Royer took the penalty and sent it into the left side of the net. New York retook the lead, 2-1.
The two teams continued to go back-and-forth, with D.C. United desperate to find an equalizer. They had a few close chances, but nothing materialized for the Black-and-Red. The New York Red Bulls won the Atlantic Cup 2-1. D.C. United will travel to face the Philadelphia Union in their next match on Saturday, August 24th.