Ola Kamara curled home an exceptional, right-footed finish nine minutes after halftime for his team-leading 10th goal of the season, lifting D.C. United to a 2-1 victory over CF Montréal on Sunday night at Audi Field.
HIGHLIGHTS: D.C. United vs. CF Montréal | August 08, 2021
Kamara became the fifth player to reach 10 goals during an increasingly crowded race for the 2021 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi. He also helped D.C. record consecutive victories for the second time this season and maintain their hold on sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Five minutes before the break, Andy Najar pulled D.C. level on a header from Julian Gressel's out-swinging free kick. It was the Honduran's first goal since his return to the club where he turned pro to start this season.
Zachary Brault-Guillard opened the scoring with his second career MLS goal, on what appeared to be a cross-turned-shot that froze D.C. 'keeper Jon Kempin.
But once D.C. turned the match around, Montréal rarely threatened in the final half-hour on a night where their midfield captain Victor Wanyama and defenders Kiki Struna and Rudy Camacho all served one-match suspensions.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Andy Najar's last goal for D.C. came nearly 10 full years ago, when he scored on Sept. 29, 2011 in a 3-2 loss at Philadelphia. The former D.C. homegrown did not score at all in 2012, as he transitioned to a more defensive role before moving on to Anderlecht. His goal in this one continued D.C.'s surge up the Eastern Conference table during Hernan Losada's first year as head coach.
GOAL: Andy Najar, DC United - 40th minute
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If this was Ola Kamara's symbolic introduction as a legitimate contender in the MLS Golden Boot race, his 54th-minute match-winner was certainly worthy of the occasion.
GOAL: Ola Kamara, DC United - 54th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Julian Gressel. After struggling to make an impact during his first season in D.C., the former Atlanta United winger has perhaps benefitted from manager Hernan Losada's arrival more than anyone else in a Black-and-Red uniform. He was at his best on Sunday as a consistent offensive threat on the right, delivering wonderful service on Najar's goal and a couple more crosses that on a different day may have produced second and third assists.
- DC: Sunday, August 15 at Nashville SC | 7 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- MTL: Saturday, August 14 vs. New York Red Bulls | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)