|photo by Matt Kremkau
In a match that featured an underperforming effort and uncharismatic mistakes in the first half, a particular one was made that wound up being the game's only goal as D.C. United beat the New York Red Bulls, 1-0. Handing them their first loss in four matches.
The win gave D.C. United some well-deserved bragging rights in this latest chapter of the long-standing rivalry. Despite the deflating loss, and being leapfrogged in the Eastern Conference standings as a result, neither team has claimed a playoff spot as of yet.
Both teams eased into the match, with the game's first shot coming after 27 minutes. That chance ended up becoming the game's first goal, allowing the hosts to take the lead. Julian Gressel won the ball off of the Red Bulls' Amro Tarek yards from the penalty area, and then made a pass from the right side of the box. Ola Kamara made a run towards the penalty spot and scored from close range.
The uncharacteristic mistakes continued for the New York Red Bulls, as Cristian Casseras' Jr's lazy passing nearly put D.C. United up by two, but thankfully, defender Amor Tarek killed that attack by making a timely tackle in the final third.
D.C United was able to control the half by committing fouls and slowing things done thus frustrating the New York Red Bulls attack at every opportunity. By the time the whistle blew to end the first half, coach Struber had some work to do to salvage the match to keep their unbeaten streak alive.
The Red Bull would fight to try to get back into the match but every effort was met by either poor play, negating their chances, or fouls committed by D.C. United defenders effectively slowing the game down, taking the Red Bulls out of their game entirely.
The only threatening chance that the Red Bulls had in the second half was an attempt by Fabio in the 89th minute that whistled wide to the right of the net.
The Red Bulls were looking for answers of which none were found. Sending them and their traveling supporters home after watching a frustratingly lackluster performance in front of their most bitter rivals. A performance that will not sit well as they face the conference-leading New England Revolution on Saturday.
New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Kyle Duncan, Tom Edwards (Omir Fernandez 82'), Amro Tarek, John Tolkin, Dru Yearwood (Frankie Amaya 65'), Sean Davis, Caden Clark (Wiki Carmona 71'), Cristian Cásseres Jr. Patryk Klimala, Fábio
27' - D.C. United - Ola Kamara, assisted by Julain Gressel