There’s never a shortage of a spectacle when MLS rivals D.C. United and New York Red Bulls matchup, and Saturday night was no different – although it wasn’t for a series of breathtaking goals.
Instead, the 1-1 between the two rivals featured a missed penalty kick, a red card for throwing the ball at the ref, and a pair of own goals in what was an extremely entertaining game despite a lack of sharpness from both teams in the final third.
Making its first appearance in MLS postseason play since 2007, D.C.’s inexperience showed, as Chris Pontius missed a first half penalty, Roy Miller and Bill Hamid both scored own goals, before Andy Najar chucked a ball at a referee to earn a red card.
“Andy’s a young kid and he made a young mistake,” D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen said after the game. “I thought [referee] Jair [Marrufo] let it boil up a bit. He made some tough calls against us, but it’s no excuse to react that way. We’ll adjust – it’s what we have been doing all year.”
The result slightly favors New York going into the second leg of the two-game series, a task that Olsen thinks that it’s a doable task.
“We should have won this game tonight, but 1-1, I’m OK with it,” he said. “They are a beatable team, that’s for sure. Ultimately, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t win because I thought we played well enough to get a result.”