WASHINGTON (AP) _ Mike Petke headed in a Lothar Matthaus free kick four minutes into overtime Saturday and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars escaped last place in the Eastern Division with a 3-2 victory over D.C. United.

The MetroStars (2-4) won despite playing a man down from the 68th minute, when Adolfo Valencia was ejected.

From the left flank, Germany's Matthaus sailed the ball to the right post. No one picked up Petke, who was third in a line of MetroStars on a run from the right.

The victory was the first on the road in three tries for the MetroStars (2-4). Defending league champion D.C. (1-4) remains in last place in the East and is off to its worst start since losing the first four games of the 1996 season.

Marco Etcheverry scored for United, who had won six straight against the MetroStars before dropping their first meeting of the season April 1.

Petter Villegas also tallied for the MetroStars.

The teams traded own-goals early in the first half for a 1-1 tie.

In the ninth minute, Orlando Perez's cross from deep on the left wing was inadvertently knocked into the goal by United defender Jeff Agoos from the 6-yard line. New York/New Jersey returned the favor in the 22nd minute when Perez redirected Etcheverry's free kick from the right side past goalie Mike Ammann.

Three minutes later, after the MetroStars' Dahir Mohammed roughly tackled A.J. Wood in the penalty area, Etcheverry converted a penalty kick for a 2-1 lead.

Villegas tied the game in the 41st minute with his first goal of the year. Unmarked at the top of the penalty area, he took a feed from Valencia and beat United goalie Tom Presthus to his right.

Valencia was ejected by referee Noel Kenney for arguing a yellow card he received after leg-whipping Etcheverry.