The New York Red Bulls found comfort at home and advanced in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals, after defeating Columbus Crew SC 3-0 at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, to win the series 3-1 on aggregate.
The result means the Red Bulls will be moving on to the Eastern Conference Championship, where they will face the team they beat for the 2018 Supporters' Shield, Atlanta United, and New York will have the home game in the second leg of that series as well.
The Red Bulls took the lead in the game and tied up the series in the 17th minute, as Sean Davis' free kick was headed back across the front of goal by Daniel Royer before the shot by Aaron Long deflected off Alex Muyl on its way into the net.
The series was delicately poised until the final 20 minutes, when the home side scored two goals in quick succession. Royer was the scorer for both strikes, completing two well-taken strikes in the 73rd and 76th minutes to seal the deal and send the Red Bulls on in the playoffs.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Columbus had a resurgence in recent weeks after an inconsistent season, but New York's quality was just too much. The Red Bulls are still fighting against the tide of history in their quest for MLS Cup, but they move one step closer to banishing any curses on their club once and for all. And it feels like their upcoming series against Atlanta is going to be epic.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The winning goal in the series was both a patient build-up by the Red Bulls and a banging finish from Royer.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: It was a team effort, as they say, but Royer had the two plays to ensure New York will advance, and got the job done in 90 minutes.
- RBNY: Eastern Conference Championship | Sunday, November 25 at Atlanta United
- CLB: End of season