D.C. United clawed out of a two-goal hole on Friday night at Audi Field but had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution. Teal Bunbury and Carles Gil gave the visitors a two-goal cushion by the 32nd minute before Leonardo Jara pulled one back for United in the 43rd minute.
Wilfried Zahibo got sent off in the 63rd minute for the Revs before Quincy Amarikwa scored the equalizer in the 86th minute for United, who have now only won one of their past nine league games.
With Luciano Acosta suspended, head coach Ben Olsen opted to switch to the three center back formation that he had used on several occasions earlier in the season. Donovan Pines came in as the third center back, with Paul Arriola back in the lineup, playing under Wayne Rooney, after his return from the Gold Cup.
But the funk that United has found themselves in recently continued early in this game, as the Revs took the lead in the fourth minute. A long ball from the back by Jalil Anibaba was headed out wide Juan Fernando Caicedo into the path of Bunbury. The striker ran at Steven Birnbaum and then fired a shot under Bill Hamid for the early advantage for the visitors.
In the 18th minute, a shot from Luis Caicedo took a wicked deflection off of Birnbaum and caught Hamid leaning the wrong way. The ball was able to trickle in, before Hamid somehow got turned the other way, and forced the shot off of the bar, allowing United to clear the danger away.
However, there was little Hamid could do in the 32nd minute, when Gil put the visitors up by two goals. Hamid made an initial save on Juan Agudelo, who had a free header at the back post. The ball popped away from Hamid, though, and Gil was perfectly placed to slot the rebound in.
Just before the break, United got back into the game when Jara scored his first goal for the club in the 43rd minute. Arriola made his way down the left flank, before cutting back and firing the ball all the way to the back post. Jara was unmarked, and he fired a shot that Matt Turner couldn't get enough on to keep the ball out of the goal.
United came out on top to start the second half but got a boost when Zahibo was sent off for a second yellow in the 63rd minute. After earning his first yellow in the 49th minute, the midfielder got his marching orders from referee Ted Unkel when a tackle on Lucas Rodriguez took out the Argentine.
From that free kick, Pines won a header from Rooney's delivery and put the ball in front of goal, but Jara couldn't get a shot away from the doorstep, letting the Revolution off the hook.
Rooney came inches away from the equalizer in the 70th minute off a delivery from Arriola. Jara played the winger in behind New England's defense, allowing Arriola to get a cross into the middle. The ball took an unfortunate bounce in front of Rooney, causing United's captain to hit his shot over the frame.
Moments later, Arriola got into the box and cut back to open a shooting lane for himself, but the left-footed effort was parried away by Turner.
Olsen brought on Ulises Segura and Amarikwa hoping to change the outcome, and it was Amarikwa who provided the acrobatic finish in the 86th minute. A free kick from Rooney near midfield was lofted in the box, and Amarikwa somehow contorted himself to volley past Turner with his right foot for his first goal for the club.
Gil wasted a chance at the other end late on, before Segura got blocked in the box, and Rodriguez couldn't keep a shot on target from inside the box in stoppage time. The miss from Rodriguez proved to be United's last chance at a winner, leaving D.C. with just one win from their past nine league games.
United is back in action on Thursday when they travel to Ohio to take on FC Cincinnati for the first time.