Major League Soccer saw four matches on display on Sunday with two Eastern Conference sides picking up home wins.
The New York Red Bulls continued a good run of form with a 2-0 victory over rivals Philadelphia Union at home. Tom Barlow and Daniel Royer each scored goals to hand Chris Armas’ side a win, one day after clinching a playoff spot.
Elsewhere, D.C. United picked up three points at Audi Field at the expense of the Seattle Sounders. The Portland Timbers were left frustrated by Minnesota United in a scoreless draw at Providence Park, while FC Dallas hit back to earn a tie with NYCFC.
Here’s a closer look at Sunday’s MLS action.
Timbers 0 – Minnesota United 0
The Portland Timbers and Minnesota United both failed to find a goal in what could be a critical result in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Timbers certainly had the better chances between the two sides. Sebastian Blanco hit a shot off the crossbar just before half time, Jeremy Ebobisse had several close misses throughout the second half, and they forced ten saves out of Vito Mannone overall.
Minnesota, meanwhile, had only a couple quality chances. They came when Robin Lod smacked a header off the bar off a 62nd minute corner and when Kevin Molino was gifted a one-on-one break against the keeper in stoppage time, but his attempt went right into Steve Clark.
The Timbers are now winless, and goalless, in their last three matches, all of which have been at home. Minnesota could have clinched a playoff berth with a win, but the draw means they will have to wait until next week.
Both sides continue their pursuit of the playoffs in midweek. Minnesota United head home to face Sporting Kansas City and the Timbers host the New England Revolution, both on Wednesday night.
FC Dallas 1 – NYCFC 1
(Ondrasek 66′) – (Castellanos 1′)
FC Dallas hit back at home on Sunday night to steal a point in a 1-1 draw against East leaders NYCFC.
The visitors wasted no time at all getting on the scoreboard. Valentin Castellanos gave them the lead in less than a minute by booting home an Anton Tinnerholm cross after just 40 seconds of play.
NYCFC continued to be the better team in the first-half, but luckily Jesse Gonzalez made several saves to keep the deficit at only one.
After being held scoreless for over an hour, the hosts leveled things up through the form of Zdenek Ondrasek. The forward’s right-footed shot beat Sean Johnson to the bottom-right corner for his fifth league goal of the season.
Santiago Mosquera had the best chance for either side late in the match, but was unable to beat Johnson.
The sides walked away with a point apiece in the Texas heat.
Red Bulls 2 – Union 0
(Barlow 33′, Royer 94′)
HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls exacted revenge on the Philadelphia Union, picking up their second win in a week.
Chris Armas’ side used a first-half goal from Tom Barlow and a late finish from Daniel Royer to down their I-95 rivals 2-0 at Red Bull Arena. It was the hosts first home win over the Union since Oct. 2016.
The Union had two positive chances to score, but couldn’t make the most of either. Jamiro Monteiro’s shot was denied by Luis Robles, before Alejandro Bedoya’s eventual follow-up was cleared by Aaron Long.
After being denied earlier in the half, the Red Bulls got some misfortune to score the opening goal of the match.
Josh Sims’ low cross wasn’t gathered cleanly by Andre Blake and Tom Barlow scored the rebound for his third goal of the season.
The second-half saw both sides have ample opportunities to score, with Blake making up for his earlier blunder. His kick save on a 4-on-2 Red Bulls counter attack kept Philly alive, but his teammates couldn’t find an equalizer.
Tim Parker and Kemar Lawrence each had crucial blocks on Union shots in the final stages to seal the shutout win. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Royer connected in stoppage time to add an insurance goal in front of the home fans.
The defeat for Philly keeps them in third, while the Red Bulls are in fifth.
D.C. United 1 – Sounders 0
(Rodriguez 14′, Brillant 54′)
D.C. United made it three consecutive home shutout wins after a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night.
Both teams struck the bar in the opening 11 minutes with Brad Smith and Wayne Rooney being left frustrated. However, the hosts would celebrate just three minutes after Rooney was denied.
Lucas Rodriguez’s right-footed finish put the Black and Red in front in the 14th minute.
Gustav Svensson had Seattle’s best look later in the half, while Rooney was once again denied by the crossbar.
Nine minutes after halftime, the Black and Red doubled their lead as Rooney assisted on Frederic Brillant’s close-range finish. It was a two-goal lead that Ben Olsen’s side would not relinquish at Audi Field.
Former D.C. player Luis Silva had two good cracks towards goal, but Bill Hamid stood firm to keep the clean sheet.