It was the New York Red Bulls who prevailed, beating DC United in the first-leg of the conference semifinal for the second-straight season, but away from home this time around with a 1-0 victory also giving them a potentially crucial away goal.
It wasn’t a game that offered many clear chances but New York took their opportunity when Sacha Kljestan’s excellent free-kick was headed in by an unmarked Dax McCarty at the back post.
The goal came from one of the Red Bulls’ nine shots on target and they were probably deserved winners, especially if looking at chance creation.
DC United finished the match without registering a single shot on target. While another worry for head coach Ben Olsen will be the fact that their passing accuracy was just 55%.
They came into the game off the back of Wednesday’s 2-1 home win over New England but the whole team looked fatigued from that match, despite a bright opening to the game.
The result saw the Red Bulls win away at DC for the first time in MLS Playoff history. They have beaten their Atlantic Cup rivals in each of the last three meetings at Red Bull Arena and look to have one foot in the Eastern Conference final.
The return leg will be played at Red Bull Arena next Sunday. The winner of the tie over the two legs will face either Montreal Impact or Columbus Crew in the Eastern final.
What did you make of Sunday’s game? Did the Red Bulls deserve to win? Can DC still make it through?