for this game

United use stunning late rally to beat Red Bulls

Apr 27, 2009 - 12:23 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) -- It looked like just another road loss for D.C. United on Sunday, but coach Tom Soehn gave his young team a reminder in the closing minutes.

"I said it was a 90-minute game and we had to play for the full 90 minutes," Soehn said. "It's funny, because it looks like we waited until the last three minutes to finally turn it up."

It was more like the last minute or so.

Luciano Emilio and Chris Pontius each scored in a span of 36 seconds in the closing minute, giving United a stunning 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls.

"This is the kind of game that makes you stronger later on, especially with a young team," Soehn said. "This could be a turning point in our season. They dug deep and found a way to win it."

United (2-1-3) snapped a two-game winless streak and the Red Bulls (1-4-2) lost their second straight.

Two major defensive breakdowns enabled D.C. to come back after it trailed 2-1 with less than a minute left.

Emilio scored the tying goal in the 89th minute when he secured the ball after a collision with two Red Bulls defenders and slid a shot past keeper Jon Conway.

Pontius assisted on that goal before scoring one of his own, capitalizing on another defensive mistake to get the ball before pushing it past Conway in the first minute of added time.

"There was a lot of confusion in the back and we caught them off balance," Pontius said. "The game was there to be won and we took advantage of it. I thought we were headed for a loss and then we had the tie. But we all looked at each other and said, 'Let's go win it.' We didn't have much legs left, with the (90-degree) heat and the turf, but thank God we got that last goal."

Pontius was asked if he was ever involved in a game where a team scored two goals in the final minute to win.

"Maybe when I was playing in youth soccer, but I really don't remember anything like it," Pontius said.

It was Emilio's fourth goal of the season and the third for Pontius. United's Rodney Wallace also scored, breaking a scoreless tie in the 21st minute.

The score remained 1-0 until New York seemingly took control with two goals in a six-minute span of the second half.

Off a free kick from Jorge Rojas, Juan Pablo Angel headed the ball past D.C. goalkeeper Louis Crayton for his second goal of the season to tie the score in the 68th minute.

Rojas, who entered the game at halftime as a substitute, also set up New York's goal in the 74th minute. His left-footed cross was right to Angel's head, who hit the goalpost with his attempt, but Dane Richards pounced on the rebound and right-footed his shot into the net.

"There are no excuses," Angel said. "This is one of the most difficult losses I've ever experienced. I can't even begin to find the words to describe what happened. To lose a game this way is a major disappointment."

Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio echoed those sentiments following his team's fourth loss, tied for most in the league.

"I'm very disappointed and I think we all should be disappointed," Osorio said. "We didn't take care of the ball at the end of the game. They're probably questioning themselves right now and we all have to do something about losing like this."

Crayton made seven saves in goal for United, while Conway had only one save for the Red Bulls.

Soehn credited his team for never giving up.

"It didn't matter what the score was," Soehn said. "We wanted to win this game and we caught them by surprise in the end. We stressed what they had to do to win it and they executed it well."