MLS Cup Playoffs: New York Red Bulls 1-2 (1-3) Montreal Impact

Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
1 Comment

The game in 100 words (or less): The top-seeded New York Red Bulls are out of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs after a 2-1 defeat (3-1 on aggregate) at the hands of the Montreal Impact in the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday. Ignacio Piatti, who scored 16 goals and assisted on seven others during the regular season, bagged both Impact goals to improve upon his side’s narrow 1-0 advantage from last weekend’s first leg. The Red Bulls had a number of chances to pull level prior to Piatti’s opener — most notably Sacha Kljestan’s penalty kick which was saved in the 21st minute — but Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips were wasteful for a second straight game, and the price they paid was their season. After finishing the regular season 16 games unbeaten, the Red Bulls are out of the playoffs after 180 minutes. The Impact will face the side that advances from the East’s other semifinal, Toronto FC vs. New York City FC, later on Sunday. TFC hold a 2-0 lead ahead of the second leg at Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: MLS Cup Playoffs roundtable discussion ]

Three moments that mattered

21′ — Bush saves Kljestan’s penalty to preserve 1-0 — At the same time Tim Howard was putting on a penalty-saving show in Denver, Evan Bush made a singular spot-kick save of his own, turning away a pedestrian effort from Kljestan.

51′ — Piatti hits a stunner against the run of play — With possession sitting at nearly 2-to-1 on the evening, the Impact seemed to be playing to preserve their slim lead. Piatti had other ideas, opting instead to double the advantage.

85′ — Piatti finishes a deadly counter for 3-1 — Bend; don’t break; pick your spots to punish them on the counter. Playoff soccer at its absolute finest.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Piatti (51′, 85′), Wright-Phillips (77′)