(WASHINTON, D.C.) In a match that both teams needed to win, one to keep their playoffs hopes alive, the other, to keep pace among the league leaders, two very bitter rivals since day one of MLS fought to a 3-3 draw in a very warm and humid Sunday afternoon at Audi Field.
Honors even! D.C. United and New York Red Bulls fight to a 3-3 draw
While D.C. United last played on Wednesday, beating Minnesota United, 2-1, The Red Bulls haven’t played a meaningful match in nearly two weeks, losing to the Montreal Impact, 3-0.
D.C. United came out pressing early and often, putting New York’s midfield and defense on their heels right off the bat, despite being out shot by New York, 10-3.
Paul Arriola was able to break through with a darting run down the sideline, got all the space he needed despite Tim Parker marking him, and scored his 5th goal of the season in the 25th minute to put the hosts in the lead.
United would continue to look dangerous with multiple chances to double the lead, until The Red Bulls would finally get a break of their own. Bradley Wright-Phillips answered with a daring bicycle kick for his 17th goal of the season in the 41st minute. Bradley was able to find a loose ball in the box and got it by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid to even the match before halftime.
Wayne Rooney scored his 5th goal of the season off a terrific volley in the 64th minute to put United in the lead, but then Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his second of the match twelve minutes later. His 18th goal this season leveled the match at two.
Luciano Acosta then delivered a dagger, chipping the ball over Luis Robles to give United the late, for United in the 87th minute.
However, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored yet another equalizer in the 88th minute putting a cap to a thrilling match.
Next up, the Red Bulls, 17-7-5, host Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena.
Wild affair at The District – With points at a premium this late in the season, every match is a de-facto playoff game. And this one didn’t disappoint, with both teams trading blows and goals right to the end.
Tight and Tense – This was a derby match with everything on the line, the draw may not have put United’s season to bed, but it did damaged their hopes a bit.
The Legend Continues – Bradley Wright-Phillips three goals keeps the Red Bulls in the hunt for the Supporters Shield, and further cementing his status as club legend.
Man of the Match:
Bradley Wright-Phillips’ three goals allowed New York to leave Audi Field with a point, keeping pace with league leaders Atlanta United.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography