D.C. United’s run of prosperity at Buzzard Point continued Wednesday, albeit with some strange new dimensions.

Ola Kamara missed a penalty kick for the first time in years, but he also converted one and made like a playmaker in assisting Julian Gressel’s go-ahead goal during a 3-1 victory over Minnesota United.

Gressel, the team leader in assists, did not set up any goals but posted his first of the year.

And then there was 6-foot-4 Donovan Pines attempting a bicycle kick in the second half, a spectacle that did not result in a goal but epitomized the freedom and joy D.C. is playing with these days.

By the end of the night, though, all seemed normal: a fourth consecutive home victory and another step up MLS’s Eastern Conference standings. Thanks to beneficial results around the league, D.C. (12-11-4) moved into third place in a tightly packed conference between the No. 3 and No. 8 spots.

“We know this can change very quick,” said Coach Hernán Losada, whose team is 4-1-1 since a three-game losing streak in August. “We need to keep both feet on the ground, keep on working. Every point is important. We need to keep the focus and stay humble.”

Kamara raised his league-best scoring total to 17 and added his fifth assist, tied for second best on the team. Substitute Júnior Moreno scored late to alleviate some tension and help D.C. improve to 10-3-0 at home with a 28-11 goal differential. In each of the past four home dates, it has scored at least three goals.

“It’s fun. It’s fun for us as players,” winger Paul Arriola said. “We’ve just had a good stretch of games where we’ve been able to start right, especially at home.”

In front of an announced 12,262 at Audi Field, Losada watched his team set the terms, take the lead and answer Minnesota’s equalizer late in the half with one of its own as intermission approached.

“It was a very solid performance — a performance where not even for a second I was scared or afraid or shaky,” Losada said. “It was a mature victory.”

Losada tinkered with the lineup, using Yordy Reyna at left wing instead of Edison Flores and starting Felipe Martins in defensive midfield in place of Moreno.

As has been custom at home, the hosts dominated early possession and applied high pressure when Minnesota (10-9-7) tried to build its attack out of the back. The visitors were much tougher to break down than the previous two teams that stopped by, Chicago and Cincinnati, who conceded three goals apiece before halftime.

Minnesota’s stout defending was only part of it; D.C. was a little off on its combinations and set pieces.

The breakthrough came in the 23rd minute after Andy Najar was taken down by Chase Gasper as the D.C. back penetrated the right side of the box.

Kamara took the penalty kick, depositing it into the right corner, making him 8 for 8 this year and 10 for 10 over two years. That streak, though, would end later in the night.

Minnesota struck next. It came on a set piece in the 40th minute, with Franco Fragapane serving a long free kick to Bakaye Dibassy, who beat Pines to a 12-yard header. It marked only the second time this year that D.C. had conceded a goal defending a player in the box on a free kick.

The hosts regained the lead in the 45th minute. In a twist, Kamara, the usual goal scorer, set up Gressel, the typical supplier.

It began with Gressel connecting with Kamara along the sideline. The striker beat two players to break into space. Gressel saw the opportunity developing and made a central run. Kamara crossed to Gressel, who took a touch, then directed an angled six-yarder into the far corner.

Kamara got another penalty kick opportunity in the 52nd minute, after Dibassy tripped Russell Canouse. This time, though, Kamara’s stutter-step run-up did not provide any clues to goalkeeper Tyler Miller’s plans, and Miller went to his right to smother the shot.

Bill Hamid rescued D.C. a minute later, making a leaping save on Fragapane’s header.

Minnesota was just dangerous enough to cause concern. At the other end, the waves of attacks continued. And Pines attempted that audacious bicycle kick, which sailed wide.

“I tried to keep that nonchalant, on the down low,” he said, smiling. “I had the time and looked around and nobody was around me. I said, ‘Let me try this.’ ”

Gressel’s one-timer missed the mark from close range, Arriola’s apparent goal was nullified by being offside, and Najar’s drive was narrowly wide.

The clincher came in the 85th, thanks to Najar’s pressure. His sliding intervention 40 yards from the net sent the ball free near the sideline. Flores chased it down, took the initiative and crossed to Moreno for a 20-yard shot that caromed off Romain Métanire and past Miller for his first MLS goal over four seasons.

At home, Losada said, “there is that feeling of we make winning a habit and you come to feel it and it’s going to be okay.”

Notes: United will visit Orlando City on Saturday, then take a two-week break for the international window. … Moreno (Venezuela) and Najar (Honduras) were named to their national teams for World Cup qualifiers, joining Arriola (United States), Reyna (Peru) and Flores (Peru). All will report after Saturday’s match.

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