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    Red Bulls 1, D.C. United 1

    Red Bulls, D.C. United play to tie

    WASHINGTON — D.C. United is looking for success on the road to advance in the MLS playoffs.

    D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls each had a second-half own goal and finished in a 1-1 draw in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday night.

    The series opener was switched to RFK Stadium in Washington because of Hurricane Sandy. The second leg between second-seeded D.C. United and third-seeded New York will be played Nov. 7 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., at 8 p.m. The winner of the game will advance to the Eastern Conference finals.


    ‘‘It’s a home and away series and now we have to go away,’’ D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said.

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    ‘‘If we don’t get through this, I'm not going to blame it on a home and away series being changed. I won’t do that.’’

    Back in the MLS playoffs for the first time since 2007, D.C. United took the lead in the 61st minute on an own goal by second-half substitute Roy Miller as the defender inadvertently cleared a Chris Korb cross into his net.

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

    The rivals split the regular- season meetings 1-1-1.


    D.C. United was forced to play the final 19 minutes with just 10 men after defender Andy Najar picked up his second yellow card, resulting in a red card, for throwing the ball at referee Jair Marrufo after committing a foul. Najar is now unavailable for Wednesday’s game.

    ‘‘I just turned around and threw the ball back and unfortunately the referee was there and it hit him,’’ Najar said.

    The best chance for D.C. United came after Red Bulls defender Connor Lade was called for a hand ball in the penalty box. Forward Chris Pontius stepped up to take the penalty kick, but his 33d-minute attempt was saved by Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles.