Davy Arnaud’s (8) 4th-minute goal stood up to give DC United their second consecutive win of the year over bitter rivals Red Bull New York. Photo: Martin Fernandez.
Just one week after snapping a club-record 15-game winless streak, D.C. United won back-to-back matches for the first time in league play since October 2012 thanks to their 1-0 victory over rivals New York Red Bulls tonight at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The win was also the second of the season over an Eastern Conference rival. United only won one match (Montreal) against the East for the entirety of the 2013 MLS season.
Davy Arnaud’s 4th-minute goal stood up as United endured an onslaught from the visiting Red Bulls in an attempt to equalize the match. Andrew Dykstra, in for regular starter Bill Hamid who was again out with lingering issues from his toe injury suffered with the National Team ten days ago, was strong in goal and garnered his second shutout in as many starts with the Black-and-Red. Red Bull held most of the possession in a tense second-half which saw the home side give up the ball too easily to fuel the visiting attack. Red Bull had a number of near misses but it was actually Dykstra’s save off of a deflection from his own team mate Sean Franklin that proved to be his most difficult save of the evening.
While the visitors were carrying most of the play on the night, it was United who struck early in the 4th minute. United received a corner kick opportunity in part because of a poor misplay defensively from Red Bull center back Jamison Olave who’s heavy first touch took the ball over the end line. Fabian Espindola whipped in his customary left-footed screamer onto the head of Bobby Boswell who flicked the ball to the back post where Davy Arnaud was waiting and his diving header made it through three Red Bull players before settling in the far side netting for the early 1-0 lead.
United and Red Bull traded spells of possession through the remainder of a lively first forty-five minutes before Red Bull turned up the heat after the break. United was complicit in Red Bulls wave of attacks by giving the ball away too quickly and too easily to help aid the visitors in their attempt to equalize. United however were not without their opportunities to extend the lead, the best of which came when Eddie Johnson beat an offside trap and strode in on goal only to see his shot fly way over the crossbar. Although Johnson remains frustrated without a goal, he did all the little things tonight that received praise from head coach Ben Olsen after the match.
Somehow, United managed to hold up despite the surge from Red Bull and took the first leg lead in the Atlantic Cup over their fiercest rivals. United will now turn their attention to next Saturday’s match in Columbus as they hope to inflict some payback from their 3-0 season opening loss to the Crew at RFK in March..