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RECAP: Red Bulls Outlast The Weather and D.C. United, 5-3

Photo Credit: Matt Kremkau

WASHINGTON, DC - With their playoff chances dwindling and the weather more fitting for waterfowl than soccer players, the Red Bulls made the trip down I-95 to the Nation's Capital to face a D.C. United team stubbornly sat in 9th place, the final playoff spot, despite winning once in five matches.

Meanwhile, Troy Lesesne and his crew are looking to do something they have done only once this season: Win on the road to keep their very slim playoff chances alive. Although no one on the team would care to admit it, they are the more desperate side, not winning a match in five attempts. However, they haven't lost to their bitterly hated rivals in their last five matches.

Cameron Harper attempted a shot from beyond the box in the 13th minute, but it veered off to the left. Following this, Frankie Amaya tried to pass the ball to Daniel Edelman, but he was found to be offside two minutes later.

Omir Fernandez scored from close range after receiving a great cross from Cameron Harper, putting the visitors ahead in the 18th minute.

In the game, D.C. United almost scored a goal two minutes after their opponent, as they kicked the ball into the wind and nearly caught the goalkeeper off guard. Fortunately for the goalkeeper, the ball went wide to his left. However, in the 21st minute, after giving up a corner, Christian Bentenke scored a goal by heading the ball past the goalkeeper, and the match was tied again.

Five minutes later, the Red Bulls thought they had earned a penalty kick when the ball ricocheted off Russell Canouse's hand, but after further review, the play was overturned. The penalty was invalid, calling it a foul instead. Tom Barlow then had a great chance to put his team ahead, but Alex Bono made two great saves after the restart to keep the match deadlocked and his team in the match. 

A bad combination of a wet pitch and sloppy defense would doom the Red Bulls as D.C. United took the lead in the 36th minute. Christian Bentenke took the ball and charged right through the New York defense as they aimlessly tried to contain with tackles, but only looked foolish doing so, and effortlessly popped the ball into the net, putting the home side in the lead.

With the momentum solidly on the side of D.C. United, the Red Bulls received a lifeline in the 42nd minute as Omir Fernandez earned a penalty kick and cooly converted it afterward, evening the match at two goals apiece. 

However, Christian Bentenke earned a penalty kick just before halftime when Andres Reyes was called for a handball in the box. Benteke quickly converted the penalty kick for his third goal of the match. 

The Red Bulls never gave up and continued to fight throughout the game. They equalized after Mateusz Klich committed a foul, and the visitors scored from a corner kick. Cameron Harper seized the opportunity and scored, making the match tied at three goals each. 

Kyle Duncan took a shot from the right side of the box, but Bono could see the play all the way and easily parried it away, giving a corner to the Red Bulls. And, that would prove costly because nearly 30 seconds later, John Tolkin delivered a pin-point perfect cross over to Sean Nealis, who towered over everyone and headed the ball into the net to give the Red Bulls their first lead since the 17th minute. 

D.C. United began pressing for the equalizer, passing the ball around the New York defense until it finally found the feet of Cristian Benteke again and took the shot. However, the ball was saved by Carlos Coronel, who guided the ball harmlessly to his left to relieve the traveling supporters. 

John Tolkin scored his second goal of the season three minutes into stoppage time, allowing the Red Bulls to finally secure their first road win since May 31st against Inter Miami and bringing them closer to that final playoff spot, now just two points from D.C. United with four matches left to play in the regular season.

Starting Lineups:

D.C. United: Alex Bono, Ruan (Andy Najar 68’), Brendan Hines-Ike, Donovan Pines, Eric Davis, Russell Canouse, Chris Durkin (Yamil Asad 68’), Gabriel Pirani (José Fajardo 67’), Ted Ku-DiPietro (Cristian Dajome 68’), Mateusz Klich, Christian Benteke

New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Sean Nealis, Andres Reyes, Kyle Duncan, Cameron Harper (Luquinhas 46’), John Tolkin, Daniel Edelman (Dru Yearwood 86’), Frankie Amaya (Hassan Ndam 90’ + 4’), Omir Fernandez (Dylan Nealis 72’), Tom Barlow, Elias Manoel (Peter Stroud 79’)

Scoring Summary:
17' - New York Red Bulls - Omir Fernandez, assisted by Cameron Harper
21' - D.C. United - Christian Bentenke, unassisted
36' - D.C. United - Christian Bentenke, unassisted
44' - New York Red Bulls - Omir Fernandez, converted penalty kick
45 + 2' - D.C. United - Christian Bentenke, converted penalty kick
45 + 5' - New York Red Bulls - Cameron Harper, assisted by Tom Barlow
58' - D.C. United - Sean Nealis, assisted by John Tolkin
90 + 3' - New York Red Bulls - John Tolkin, assisted by Luquinhas

Disciplinary Summary:
25' - D.C. United - Russell Canouse - Yellow Card
55' - D.C. United - Brendan Hines-Ike - Yellow Card
64' - New York Red Bulls - Kyle Duncan - Yellow Card
65' - New York Red Bulls - Sean Nealis - Yellow Card
83' - D.C. United - Christian Benteke - Yellow Card


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