Nick DeLeon scored in the 88th minute as D.C. United advanced to the MLS Eastern Conference Final with a 2-1 aggregate win over the New York Red Bulls following an extraordinary second half at Red Bull Arena.
After New York had enjoyed the better of the possession and the chances in the second half, Robbie Russell -- in for the suspended Andy Najar -- played in DeLeon on the right side of the penalty area and the rookie made no mistake in finishing past Luis Robles for the only goal of the second leg.
D.C. United starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who had made several saves to keep United level on the night and on aggregate, was sent off by referee Mark Geiger in the 69th minute after bringing down Kenny Cooper in the penalty area.
Cooper scored the ensuing penalty, but Geiger ordered the kick re-taken after several New York players encroached in the penalty area. Substitute keeper Joe Willis dove to his left to save Cooper's second penalty, from which there was no rebound.
Five minutes later, New York defender Rafael Marquez was sent off for a second yellow card after a bad slide tackle on Chris Pontius. Seconds later, the winger had United's best chance to win the match to that point, but his shot from the right channel slid wide of Luis Robles' right post.
D.C. United will play the Houston Dynamo for the right to advance to MLS Cup 2012. The first leg of the two-legged final will be played at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.