MLS Playoffs: Mancosu goal, tough defending carry Impact

The Montreal Impact again left Didier Drogba off the game-day roster, as they had for a 4-2 Knockout-Round defeat of D.C. United, and the Impact again utilized the finishing of Matteo Mancosuto edge the Red Bulls, 1-0, in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday at Stade Saputo.

Montreal-New York: Highlights

Mancuso scored by running onto a long ball from Marco Donadel, who along with central midfield partner Patrice Bernier drove their teammates forward in the second half, and belted a first-time shot past keeper Luis Robles. For most of the game, the Red Bulls contained the speed of Dominic Oduro, thanks to a diligent effort by left back Kemar Lawrence, but they were stung by a simple ball over the top.

In addition to Mancosu’s third goal in two playoff games, the Impact rode some sharp work by keeper Evan Bush and centerback Laurent Ciman. Bush charged to the edge of his penalty area in the first half to swat away a chip by Bradley Wright-Phillips after he’d run down a ball over the top, and rescued his team again in the second half by diving into the feet of Mike Grella to block a close-range shot. Felipe, formerly of the Impact, rang a free kick off the crossbar shortly before Mancosu got in behind Red Bull defender Damien Perrinelleto fire a shot into the top corner.

"Considering the emotions and the work put in on Thursday in D.C., coming back here in front of our fans and winning this game against one of the favorites was fantastic," said Impact coach Mauro Biello. "We'll keep growing together and prepare for next Sunday."


Ciman blunted numerous Red Bull attacks by repelling crosses in the air and along the ground. Wide mids Grella and Alex Muyl got a lot of the ball but were unable to get past challenges one-v-one and seldom delivered a dangerous cross.

In the final minutes, Montreal nearly grabbed a second goal and in stoppage time Bush saved again when subs Gonzalo Veron and Omer Damari linked up to produce a Damari shot that rebounded to Wright-Phillips, whose shot veered wide of the near post. Just before the final whistle, Damari studded Harry Shipp on a wild tackle and saw the red card. He will miss at least the second leg next Sunday at Red Bull Arena. 

Oct. 30 in Montreal
Montreal 1 NY Red Bulls 0.
MTL: Matteo Mancosu (Marco Donadel) 61.
Montreal -- Bush; Camara, Cabrera, Ciman, Oyongo, Donadel, Bernadello (Wallace, 69) Bernier (Shipp 90+1), Oduro (Venegas, 74), Piatti, Mancosu.
NY Red Bulls -- Robles; Duvall, Collin, Perrinelle, Lawrence (Zizzo 90+1), Felipe, McCarty, Grella (Veron 73), Kljestan, Muyl (Damari 82), B.Wright-Phillips.
Yellow Cards: Montreal -- Camara 13; NY Red Bulls -- Felipe 13.
Red Card: NY Red Bulls -- Damari 90+3.
Att.: 15,027.

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