WASHINGTON – D.C. United were minutes away from celebrating victory thanks to Dwayne De Rosario’s 100th regular-season goal. But Wilman Conde’s majestic strike in the 88th minute spoiled the party and secured a 2-2 draw for the New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night.
United captain De Rosario netted his historic goal and would-be winner in the 68th minute on an athletic header. Nick DeLeon’s fantastic service from just beyond midfield allowed the Canadian international to time his run and jump to head the ball past closing Red Bulls goalkeeper Bill Gaudette and the chasing Markus Holgersson. DeRo became just the seventh player in MLS history with 100 regular-season goals.
But after pushing up the field in the late going, the Red Bulls had the last laugh two minutes from time off a corner kick. D.C.’s Perry Kitchen attempted to clear Dax McCarty’s cross, but the ball fell at the top of the area for Conde. The Colombian defender – celebrating his 30th birthday – promptly blasted a laser past United ‘keeper Bill Hamid and stunned the RFK faithful with his first goal in a Red Bulls uniform.
The result extends New York’s unbeaten streak to four straight and keeps the Red Bulls (13-7-7, 46 points) in second place in the Eastern Conference. Still, the Red Bulls haven’t won in eight attempts away from Red Bull Arena.
D.C. United (12-9-5, 41 points), meanwhile, tied for the second time in four matches and haven’t lost at RFK in 13 matches, which ties the club record set in 2007. They pulled even with Chicago for fourth in the East and secure the Atlantic Cup back from their archrivals for the first time in three years (the teams were even with a 1-1-1 record this season, but D.C. win the cup on aggregate goals, 8-6).
Joel Lindpere and DeLeon opened the scoring in rapid succession in the first half, finding the net just two minutes apart. Lindpere snuck behind D.C.’s right side in the 19th minute and ran onto a creative one-touch ball from Thierry Henry to beat Hamid on the short side for his fourth strike of the season.
But DeLeon answered with a lovely volley in the 21st minute off a chip over the top from De Rosario. The rookie’s touch bounced into the corner past Gaudette for the midfielder’s fifth of the season. The assist was De Rosario’s 12th, pulling him even for second in the league.
D.C. conclude their stretch of five matches in two weeks on Saturday with a trip to Real Salt Lake. New York, meanwhile, are off until Sept. 15, when they host Columbus.