Red Bulls, United finish in 1-1 draw


WASHINGTON (AP) -Back in the MLS playoffs for the first time since 2007, D.C. United played out a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal on Saturday.

Two own goals, a missed penalty and a red card to United defender Andy Najar highlighted an error strewn match that saw D.C. take the lead in the 61st minute through an own goal by second-half substitute Roy Miller, who inadvertently cleared a Chris Korb cross past keeper Luis Robles.

Four minutes later, the Red Bulls equalized after D.C. United keeper Bill Hamid knocked the ball into his net while trying to save a deflection after a Thierry Henry corner kick.

Earlier, striker Chris Pontius had a great opportunity to edge United in front after Red Bulls defender Connor Lade was called for a hand ball in the penalty box, but his 33rd minute penalty attempt was saved by Robles.

Pontius was again denied a goal in the 75th minute by Robles, this time from point-blank range.

D.C. United played the final 19 minutes with just 10 men after defender Andy Najar picked up his second yellow card for throwing the ball at referee Jair Marrufo after committing a foul.

The series opener was switched to Washington because of Superstorm Sandy. The second leg between second-seeded D.C. United and third-seeded New York will be played on Nov. 7 in New Jersey, where D.C. United will be looking to maintain its playoff streak against New York, having won each of its previous three playoff matchups in 1996, 2004 and 2006.

The Eastern Conference rivals split its regular season meetings with one win each and a draw.

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