How New York Red Bulls or Atlanta United can advance to 2018 MLS Cup

Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Championship between the Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls ended in a 3-0 win for Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. The teams will match up again in Harrison, N.J. on Thursday (7:30 pm ET | FS1, TSN2, TVAS2) for the decisive second leg. Below is a grid showing the scores that could send each team through to 2018 MLS Cup.

How to read the grid: Match each New York goals total (above) with each potential Atlanta goals total (to the left) for the second leg, and the team that is shown on the square where those columns intersect is the team that would advance. Remember, if the score on November 29 (Leg 2) is RBNY 4, ATL 1 at the end of regulation time (aggregate score of RBNY 4, ATL 4), Atlanta will advance to MLS Cup on away goals (see below for more information on the away goals rule). However, away goals do not apply in extra time if regulation ends with the score RBNY 3, ATL 0.

The away goals rule: The away goals rule is a tiebreaking method that is used to determine the winner of a two-legged series, such as the MLS Conference Semifinals and Conference Championships. If two teams are tied on aggregate at the end of regulation time of the second leg, the away goals rule is applied as the first tiebreaker. The winner is the team with the most goals scored away from home.


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