John Tolkin scores late, New York Red Bulls blank D.C. United

John Tolkin scored his first goal of the season in the 88th minute on a free kick as the host New York Red Bulls earned a 1-0 victory over the D.C. United Sunday night in Harrison, N.J.

Tolkin capped the 100th regular-season meeting between the teams by scoring his first goal since Aug. 17, 2022. He scored his third career MLS goal in 76 career matches after struggling on his six corner kicks.

The winning goal developed when Tolkin was fouled by Jose Fajardo. He took a soft shot from the right side at a sharp angle and sent the ball over D.C.'s three-man defensive wall before tucking inside the right post when D.C. goalkeeper Tyler Miller was slow to react with a diving stop.

Tolkin's goal gave the Red Bulls a third straight home victory and pulled New York (7-9-8, 29 points) within one point of ninth-place D.C. in the Eastern Conference race.

After Tolkin's clutch goal, the Red Bulls were able to prevent D.C. from generating offense in six minutes of stoppage time.

New York goalkeeper Carlos Coronel did not make any saves and got his seventh clean sheet this season and 29th of his career.

D.C. (8-11-6, 30 points) produced five shots and four were off target while one was blocked.

Miller made both saves late in the first half and was visibly frustrated with his defense after Tolkin scored.

The Red Bulls took the only two shots on target for either team in the opening half but Dru Yearwood was stopped in the 37th minute and Luquinhas was denied four minutes later.

Before Miller's saves, Dante Vanzeir missed the net twice in a span of five minutes within the first 18 minutes. After the saves, Yearwood missed the net right before stoppage time ended in the opening half.

The teams traded misses in a span of two minutes later as Christian Benteke missed the net with a right-footed try in the 60th and Tolkin missed with a left-footed attempt two minutes later.

New York nearly took the lead in the 75th when Cameron Harper ran well ahead of the throw-in and hit the left side of the net with an off-balance try after getting a cross from Tom Barlow.

Four minutes later, D.C. missed its best chance when Theodore Ku-DiPietro saw his soft left-footed try sail to the right.