Despite an advantage of skipping the knockout round, the New York Red Bulls lost, 3-1 on aggregate to the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday.
The Impact entered Sunday’s second leg in Harrison, New Jersey with a 1-0 advantage after last Sunday’s performance in Montreal. The visitors secured their ticket to the conference finals by scoring two vital away goals at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls, who finished first in the East, had a glimmer of hope after a scoreless first half, but Ignacio Piatti’s 51st-minute goal for Montreal put New York on the brink.
With no time to waste, the Red Bulls poured on the attack, outshooting the Impact 11-4 after Sunday’s first goal. By then, the Impact held an away-goal advantage that marked this as a “win or go home” scenario.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, the MLS Golden Boot winner as the league’s top scorer this season, put the Red Bulls on the board in the 77th minute to pull the aggregate score to 2-1. But Piatti again would be Montreal’s hero as he scored the final goal of the matchup in the 85th minute to crush the Red Bulls’ dreams.