“I knew he is disappointed with the chances he missed, but still, in that difficult moment, he wants to take the ball,” Losada said. “He shot it full of confidence.”
Three weeks after winning in South Florida thanks to a pair of Kamara goals, United (4-5-0) returned from the international break and defeated Miami (2-5-2) again.
The visitors finished with nine players after Gregore da Silva received his second yellow card early in the second half and Ryan Shawcross got a red card in the 84th minute.
Kamara’s goal ended a night of personal and collective frustration. United played with passion and purpose for most of the 90 minutes, dictating terms and creating opportunities. All that was missing was a goal, and after several threats, Kamara broke the tie.
“I was really proud of the team and the way everybody stuck together and stayed at it,” forward Paul Arriola said. “It’s easy to accept it’s not your day and the ball is not going to go into the back of the net.”
The breakthrough came after a handball against Miami’s Christian Makoun.
Julian Gressel served a free kick to Brendan Hines-Ike on the back side for an angled header. Makoun had turned his body and swung his right arm. The ball struck his hand, and referee Fotis Bazakos pointed to the penalty spot.
Kamara slid it into the lower right corner for his team-best fourth goal.
“Ola keeps on growing but knowing he needs to be a lot more efficient in front of goal,” Losada said, “because in the future, it’s going to cost us.”
Losada kept the lineup that routed Miami, 3-0, late last month, with one exception: Defensive midfielder Felipe Martins stepped in for Júnior Moreno, who is on assignment with the Venezuelan national team at Copa América in Brazil.
Miami arrived without Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuaín, who has a team-best four goals but needed to address fitness issues.
Feeding off the energy of the loud crowd, United picked up where it left off in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a bubbly first-half performance.
Kamara squandered long balls into the box from wing backs Gressel and Kevin Paredes. Andy Najar gave a spectacular display of footwork, and Gressel fired a 22-yarder narrowly over the crossbar.
All signs pointed to a lead before intermission, but even with additional opportunities, the goal remained elusive.
In the last three minutes of the half, Kamara headed Gressel’s free kick off the left post from six yards and faltered on a free run that ended with a ballooned chip. In between, United’s Bill Hamid made a terrific one-on-one save on Brek Shea in the box.
After the break, United continued making its case without reward. Then in the 56th minute, the match took another turn when da Silva manhandled Paredes and received his second yellow card in less than 10 minutes.
If a wealth of opportunities wasn’t enough, United inherited a man advantage for about 35 minutes. Losada turned to his bench, adding a second striker, Nigel Robertha, to partner with Kamara.
The goal broke the tie, and the red card to Shawcross, who was trying to pick a fight all night, put matters to rest. Bazakos had seen enough after Shawcross flung substitute Joseph Mora by the neck and shoulder.
The D.C. defense has conceded two goals in five matches, and Hamid recorded his second shutout since he made his season debut at Miami.
“Collectively, we are on the right track,” Hamid said. “Even the losses, the style of play you could see was coming together, so thankfully now it’s starting to translate over into results and we can keep this thing going.”
Notes: Center back Steven Birnbaum, who has yet to play this season, is on schedule to play in possible closed-door friendlies during the Concacaf Gold Cup break early next month, Losada said. … United will return to South Florida on Wednesday to face CF Montreal (3-3-2), which is playing home games in the United States until travel guidelines loosen. … Former United star Jaime Moreno was recognized before the game for being elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on June 9.