Paul Arriola scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season to lift D.C. United to a 4-2 victory over FC Cincinnati on Saturday night at Audi Field that guarantees the Black-and-Red will finish the weekend above the Eastern Conference playoff line.

Julian Gressel contributed three first-half assists, including two to Arriola as D.C. scored the first four goals of the contest in their first victory over Cincinnati in Washington. Steve Birnbaum scored his first goal of the season and Nigel Robertha added his third on a goal that was originally ruled offside, then given following a Video Review.

Substitute Brandon Vazquez scored and then assisted former D.C. playmaker Luciano Acosta inside the final 15 minutes as Cincy gave the hosts a brief late scare.

Acosta elected not to celebrate his fifth of the campaign in front of his former home supporters, as Cincy drifted further out of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs picture with a third consecutive defeat and sixth in seven games.

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Goals

  • 7' - DC - Paul Arriola | WATCH
  • 21' - DC - Steve Birnbaum | WATCH
  • 41' - DC - Paul Arriola | WATCH
  • 72' - DC - Nigel Robertha | WATCH
  • 80' - CIN - Brandon Vazquez | WATCH
  • 84' - CIN - Luciano Acosta | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: United have won seven of their last eight matches at home while scoring 22 goals over that stretch and improving to 9-3-0 this season at Audi Field. Cincinnati fell to 3-8-3 on the road, and have conceded at least three goals in all eight of those defeats.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Black-and-Red's opener came on a really well-worked set piece. Notice in particular Ola Kamara's near-post run, which not only creates space for Arriola but also drags his defender closer to the goal line and keeps Arriola onside:
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Julian Gressel. Not only did the wide man contribute assists on each of D.C.'s first-half goals, but he also could've had one or two more with more exceptional passing after halftime. Check out the ball he delivered on Birnbaum's goal:

Up Next

  • DC: Wednesday, Sept. 29 vs. Minnesota United | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • CIN: Wednesday, Sept. 29 at Toronto FC | 7 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

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