Another home game, another draw for D.C. United. They’ve struggled to get three points at home this year, especially of late. The visiting New England Revolution got a point on the road, but they also watched a two goal lead slip away.
They would take a 2-0 lead courtesy of Teal Bunbury and Carles Gil, Teal’s goal came in the fourth minute of the game. Gil scored in the 32nd minute and New England almost scored prior to Gil’s goal, when a shot deflected off of Birnbaum and Hamid got just enough on it to push it towards the post.
With Luciano Acosta out, serving a suspension after receiving a red card in their last match, the home side were using a different formation. Not something they haven’t used before, but there were a few tweaks to it. One being that Donavan Pines wasn’t in the middle of the three centerbacks like earlier this season. He instead played on the right, underneath Leo Jara.
The Black-and-Red didn’t seem comfortable for nearly the entire first half while defending or attacking, everything was a bit off. They were able to cut the deficit thanks to Paul Arriola and Jara connecting in the 43rd minute. Paul got wide and put a great ball into the box and Jara made a good run and one timed it past the keeper.
The return of Paul Arriola was huge, especially with the Black-and-Red missing Acosta. His energy and pressure he put on New England time and time again in the second half paid off. He remained in form from his time with the National team.
Things seemed to shift as soon as the second half started, there was conviction in how they moved and it showed as they found their form. They were the aggressor instead of being on their heels. They started to match the physicality that New England was playing with, they also seemed to have figured out the Revs a bit as well when attacking.
New England’s Wilfried Zahibo was sent off in the 63rd minute, he had received his second yellow card of the match. That changed things for the visitors as they had to defend a bit more, but they were able to handle most of the pressure. So many players sacrificed their bodies to get in the way of shots.
There were several opportunities for D.C. United to get the equalizer, but the biggest may of been in the 71st minute when an Arriola cross got through the crowded box to the feet of Rooney. Wayne couldn’t get a foot on it as it glanced off his shin and over the goal.
They did get the equalizer in the 86th minute off a set piece. Rooney took it and delivered a soft ball into the box, rather than go wide to where Birnbaum and Pines were making their runs, they had tried that a couple of times earlier. Wayne just dropped it into the center of the box and Amarikwa volleyed it past the keeper. Quincy had just come on a few minutes earlier, it was his first regular season goal for the Black-and-Red.
Lucas Rodriguez got a prime scoring opportunity off a pass from Rooney in stoppage time, but couldn’t finish.
D.C. United will play it’s next three matches on the road, these draws at home could come prove to be costly in their quest to win the East. In the bigger picture, they still remain in second place in the standings.