Kevin Paredes scored his third goal of the year on nine minutes and D.C. United moved back above the Eastern Conference line in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs chase with a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night at Audi Field.
HIGHLIGHTS: D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls | October 27, 2021
Four days removed from one of the shakiest performances of his career, Bill Hamid made five saves to keep his eighth clean sheet, which lifted D.C. above the Red Bulls and CF Montréal in the playoff chase while snapping a four-match winless run.
Hamid's presence was crucial as Paredes exited in the 38th minute with an injury and D.C. attacker Paul Arriola departed at halftime due to match fitness issues in his own return from a knock.
RBNY created the majority of the chances, leading 17-4 in shots and 5-3 in efforts on target, but lost attacking momentum after Patryk Klimala failed to hit the target on a breakaway with only Hamid to beat midway through the second half.
The Red Bulls still have three matches remaining to climb back above D.C. (who only have two to play) after seeing their unbeaten run halted at eight games.
- 9' - DC - Kevin Paredes | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Those hoping for a clearer East playoff picture after Wednesday night will be severely disappointed. United earned a victory they frankly needed, but could realistically still be caught by three teams, including the Columbus side they play Saturday. As for the Red Bulls, their upcoming game against Montréal at Red Bull Arena may be a win-or-go-home affair.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It might've been Ola Kamara adding to his MLS-leading goals total with an 18th after Nigel Robertha reached Julian Gressel's through ball and served an excellent cross. Instead, it was Paredes trailing the play for what is easily the biggest goal of the teenager's career, even if his night ended prematurely.
GOAL: Kevin Paredes, DC United - 9th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Bill Hamid. The longest-tenured D.C. player was at fault for at least one and arguably two goals in an embarrassing 6-0 loss at NYCFC over the weekend. But he responded in exceptional fashion on Wednesday. His best saves came against Cristian Casseres Jr. He dove low and left in the 24th minute to keep Casseres from leveling with a finish inside the far post. Then in the 89th minute, he leaped at full stretch to push away Casseres' attempt at an Olimpico.
SAVE: Bill Hamid, DC United - 24th minute
- DC: Saturday, Oct. 30 vs. Columbus Crew | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- RBNY: Saturday, Oct. 30 vs. CF Montreal | 4 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)