Injury Time Own Goal Costs the Red Bulls Precious Points

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Red Bulls logoHARRISON, N.J. – Fidel Escobar deflected a Bruno  Miranda cross into his own net in the first-minute of second-half stoppage time, and the New York Red Bulls saw their winless streak extend to eight with a 3-3 draw to D.C. United.

The Red Bulls appeared to en route to their first win since Aug. 15, but Escobar’s attempted clearance bounced off his thigh past goalkeeper Luis Robles. New York twice had the lead, going ahead the second time on Gonzalo Verón’s 78th-minute penalty kick.

The draw spoiled the first two career MLS goals for Tyler Adams, who had one in each half, including an equalizer in 74th minute to tie the match, 2-2.

New York has not won since beating FC Cincinnati in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Aug. 15, and not in MLS since beating Orlando three days earlier.

The Red Bulls improved to 43 points, remaining in sixth place and moving four points clear of seventh-placed Montreal and five ahead of eighth-placed New England, both of which lost on Wednesday. They remained four behind fourth-placed Columbus with a game in hand.

Columbus, Montreal and New England all have three games remaining, one less than New York.

The Red Bulls led early and then had to rally after falling behind.

Adams put New York ahead in the 19th minute. Sacha Kljestan played a ball into the left corner where Connor Lade one-timed the cross from the byline. The ball sailed over Sean Davis’ head running down the middle of the penalty area, but bounced once and Adams took it off his chest to hit a right-footed blast high past Steve Clark.

New York had the better of play in the first half, twice as much possession and a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal, but couldn’t hold the lead. D.C. United equalized in first-half injury time on a free kick set up by a yellow card trip by Damien Perrinelle on Paul Arriola.

Zoltan Stieber, a midseason acquisition from Hungary who played last season with Kaiserslautern in Germany’s 2.Bundesliga, hit a low left-footed drive that deflected off Bradley-Wright Phillips’ right shin in the wall and skipped just inside the far post past a diving Robles.

D.C. took the lead in the 70th on a play started by former Red Bull Lloyd Sam.

Sam’s throw-in to Steiber was played into Russell Canouse, who toed it to Patrick Mullins, standing in the top of the area between Perrinelle and Escobar. Mullins took a touch and easily beat Robles.

With an 83-degree temperature and 67 percent humidity at kickoff, the sparse crowd of 16,538 was sleepy until Adams corralled a deflection off a Connor Lade shot at the top of the box, took a touch to his right and then shot low through a crowd – including between Wright-Phillips’ legs – in the 74th.

Four minutes later, Verón sprinted down the left side chased by Arriola, who knocked him over inside the area for what appeared to be the winning penalty.

Both sides were without key personnel. The Red Bulls rested center back Aaron Long while D.C. was without goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who was a late scratch because of a back injury.