In a Decision Day presented by AT&T matchup at Stade Saputo on Sunday, the Impact rolled to a 3-0 win over the Red Bulls, spoiling any chance they had of earning a home playoff game and dropping them to the six seed in the Eastern Conference.
Okwonkwo led the way with a goal and an assist for ninth-place Montreal, who were already eliminated from playoff contention coming into the regular season finale.
The Impact dominated the first half, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and nearly scoring one or two more if not for being called offside.
Their first came in the 23rd minute when Okwonkwo sprinted down the field and laid it off for Bojan, who ended Luis Robles’ three-game shutout streak with a clean finish. Even worse for the Red Bulls, fullback Kyle Duncan came up lame chasing Okwonkwo and left the contest for Michael Murillo, who was the victim of Montreal’s second goal in the 37th minute.
Okwonkwo remained hot after the break, making it 3-0 in the 62nd minute when he chested home a cross from Saphir Taider, helping to seal a result that snapped Montreal’s four-game winless streak.
New York’s best chance to score came in the 80th minute when a Murillo strike from distance hit the crossbar.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Red Bulls had a golden opportunity to move up from fifth to fourth place with D.C. United failing to get a win vs. FC Cincinnati. But instead of booking a first-round home game by beating the Impact, they remained winless in their last eight trips to Montreal to finish in sixth place in the East — with a trip to rival Philly for the opening round on tap. The Impact, meanwhile, will have some serious questions in the offseason after missing out on the playoffs for the third straight year.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Impact’s persistence on their second goal really seemed to suck some life out of the Red Bulls.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Okwonkwo had an impressive ending to his first — and last? — season in Montreal. The 21-year-old, on a one-year loan from Bologna, finished with seven goals and two assists, torching the Red Bulls with his speed in the finale.
- Montreal: End of season.
- RBNY: Oct. 20 at Philadelphia Union, 3 pm ET (FS1, Fox Deportes) | Round One, Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs