[MLS PLAYOFFS: D.C. United-New York] On a night when everything that could go wrong did go wrong -- own goal, missed penalty and red card -- D.C. United should
be thankful it is still in its Eastern Conference semifinal series with the New York Red Bulls. It earned a 1-1 tie -- thanks to an own goal on the other end -- leaving Coach Ben Olsen to believe it can get the job done in the next leg.
“They are a beatable team, here or there,” Olsen said afterward. “We can beat this team. And there is a great opportunity for us to go to New York and try to do that.”
-- D.C. United was poised to go ahead in the 32nd minute when Red Bulls rookie Connor Lade was called for a handball in the area, but goalie Luis Robles stopped Chris Pontius' penalty kick.
-- Just four minutes after Roy Miller put D.C. ahead when he headed Chris Korb's cross into the New York goal, D.C. United keeper Bill Hamid returned the favor when he bobbled Heath Pearce's header and helped it across the line.
-- Any chances of D.C. recovering from that second blow evaporated soon thereafter when Andy Najar received a yellow card for a foul from behind, threw the ball at referee Jair Marrufo and was sent off with a second yellow card. Najar denied he hit Marrufo intentionally. “I just threw the ball without looking," he said, "and he was there.”
-- Miller had replace Rafael Marquez at halftime. The Mexican, who was taken out as a precautionary measure because of his calf injury, said the Red Bulls need to do better. “It wasn’t the same level we showed the last few games," he said. "We need to change our attitude if we are to live up to our expectations of something bigger.”
-- New York issued a statement before the game that Red Bull Arena had regained full power and clean-up efforts in and around the facility were underway following Sandy. The club confirmed that the second leg will be played as planned.
Second Leg: Wednesday, 8:00 PM (TV: NBC Sports Network)
Nov. 3 in Washington D.C.
D.C. United 1 New York 1. Goals: own goal 61; own 65.
D.C. United -- Hamid, Najar, McDonald, Jakovic, Korb, DeLeon, Kitchen, Boskovic (Neal 69), Saragosa, Pontius, Pajoy
New York -- Robles, Lade, Holgersson, Marquez (Miller 46), Pearce, McCarty, Cahill, Tainio, Lindpere, Le Toux (Cooper 80), Henry
Red Card: D.C. United -- Najar 71.
Referee: Jair Marrufo