Second half defending dooms D.C. United in lopsided loss to Red Bulls

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Second half defending dooms United in loss to Red Bulls originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

D.C. United headed to Red Bull Arena against New York Red Bulls on a four-match winless streak and outside the playoff picture.

At 14 points, interim head coach Chad Ashton needs results to remain in the playoff picture and prevent the squad from sliding further away, considering they're now second to last in the Eastern Conference.

Here are a few takeaways from D.C. United's 4-1 loss the New York:

Missing the presence of Taxiarchis Fountas

Since arriving a couple of months ago, Taxiarchis Fountas has hit the ground running with D.C. United. The Greece international has picked up five goals in seven appearances.

However, with Fountas out of the starting eleven because of back spasms. The Black-and-Red struggled, especially in the first 45 minutes, where they registered one total shot and zero shots on target. Then the second half wasn't much better as they only got three more shots off.

D.C. United did get off shots against New York, but only on one occasion did they score.

After bending, the defense finally broke 

D.C. United spent most of the match defending as they conceded possession to New York. They bent at times but didn't break as they gave up shots, but none found the back of the net in the first half.

Despite the physical defending with the opposition's 17 tackles, they did cross the line at times, committing 12 fouls. It didn't stop New York from coming at the defense.

After having to clear the ball on various occasions to get the ball out of danger, The Red Bulls scored after a sequence of plays broke the backline and opened the floodgates for New York.

Conceding second chances doom D.C. United

D.C. United's defense didn't break during the first but in the second half, the number of times the team couldn't clear the ball from danger came back to haunt the Black-and-Reds.

Luquinhas scored a brace as both strikes came on the inability to get the ball out of danger, leading to another opportunity for a goal, which the Brazilian found on two occasions.

Then the clearing of the ball on a corner kick set piece which wasn't good enough, resulted in Lewis Morgan scoring on a volley from outside the box.