D.C. manage second win under Rooney beating out NYCFC 2-1

D.C. United's Martín Rodríguez played exceptionally well as D.C. United manage second win

HARRISON, NJ – Matching up at Red Bull Arena, D.C. managed their second win under head coach Wayne Rooney as the black-and-red edged out NYCFC 2-1 on the road while Pigeons’ head coach Nick Cushing continues to struggle in his new role.

D.C. manage second win under Wayne Rooney

Two early goals see both sides even at the half

Finding the first opportunity of this battle would be NYCFC as Maxime Chanot rolled a ball out to Malte Amundsen in the 14-minute who began breaking down the opposition’s left wing. With a few quick touches and Chris Durkin chasing, Amundsen would pick out Héber in a pocket of space central to the pitch for a shot just outside the box blocked by David Ochoa as Santiago Rodríguez chased the rebound. However, Ochoa was fast off his line and able to jump on the ball to prevent an easy tap-in from Rodríguez.

Quickly providing an answer was D.C. United as Andy Nájar worked the ball to Martín Rodríguez who hit a one-time pass to Miguel Berry now open and attacking down the far wing. With the NYCFC defense shifting towards goal, Berry would play a backward pass to find Durkin for a one-time shot. While saved by Sean Johnson, the rebound would sputter in front of goal for a stretched-out Amundsen to clear the ball and preserve the even scoreline.

Staying on the attack, D.C. would win a throw-in taken by Chris Odoi-Atsem for Martín Rodríguez who was able to lead Durkin down along the goalline with a smooth pass. Here, Durkin would pick out a wide-open Ola Kamara across the face of goal with the NYCFC defenders and Johnson left helpless as Kamara simply swept the ball in for a 1-0 lead.


Bringing an answer of their own was NYCFC who found themselves on the attack again minutes later as the clock hit for the 27th and Nicolás Acevedo sent a pass to Santiago Rodríguez with his back to goal. Turning towards the far wing, Santiago Rodríguez would pick out Amundsen with a perfectly placed pass giving the outside back an opportunity to run onto it for a one-time cross.

Amundsen would manage a pass to Héber who would hit a one-time shot of his own as Talles Magno ran across goal with a D.C. defender chasing and effectively screened Ochoa from the ball making the save extremely difficult. This left Ochoa scrambling for any kinda touch on the ball but to no avail as NYCFC tied the score at 1-1 on the deflected shot from Héber.

With both sides on the scoresheet and things settling down over the last 15 minutes of the first half, NYCFC and D.C. would remain tied 1-1 as the whistle sounded for halftime.

D.C. manage a second win under Wayne Rooney with a second-half goal

Grabbing the lead back early into the second half would be D.C. United as Nájar won a free kick about 35 yards from the box after being fouled by Acevedo who was awarded a yellow card. Standing over the free kick in the 57-minute would be Martín Rodríguez who launched a ball at Johnson’s far back post but curled it away from the goal. Rushing in to meet it at the last minute would be Steve Birnbaum who drove a header into the ground and got the ball to just bounce over a diving Johnson giving D.C. a 2-1 advantage to start the half.

The 72-minute would mark the MLS debut of Belgian striker Christian Benteke for D.C. United spent time throughout his career with Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Crystal Palace all of the Premier League while also having represented the Red Devils at the international level. He arrived at the club in early August and signed as a designated player on a two-and-a-half-year deal.


Perhaps with the spark provided by their newest addition, D.C. would manage another opportunity in the 77-minute earning a free kick just outside the center circle which Birnbaum launched toward the Belgian. Rising to meet the floated pass, Benteke would knock down a header to Berry who quickly darted toward goal only stopping to send a pass back to Benteke. Striking the ball one time on a rolled pass from Berry, Benteke would force a low save from Johnson to keep the score within one and deny the attacker a debut goal.

While both sides would win corner opportunities in the dying minutes, neither could manage one on goal as Amundsen sent a one-time volley wide of goal in the 87-minute and Benteke smashed a header over the bar in the 89-minute. 

NYCFC would search for any last opportunity in the additional four minutes of added time but between a shot pushed wide from Magno and a chance from distance taken by Gedion Zelalem which was picked out of the top corner of the goal by Ochoa, D.C. would see out the 2-1 win in New Jersey. This is also the seventh win overall this year as D.C. manage second win under Wayne Rooney.

Photo Credit: D.C. United’s Twitter Account on September 1, 2022.