RBNY Advance to Eastern Conference Championship for First Time Since 2015
Daniel Royer's sixth-career brace paced the New York Red Bulls past Columbus Crew SC, 3-0, in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena. New York advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship on a 3-1 aggregate and will face Atlanta United in the conference final.
New York advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2015 and third time in the last five seasons.
In the 17th minute, Sean Davis sent a free kick into the box that Royer headed towards Aaron Long. Long settled the ball and took a shot, which ricocheted off Alex Muyl into the net.
Holding on to a 1-0 lead, New York had a perfect tic-tac-toe play in the box that finished with Royer sneaking his shot under Zack Steffen to double the lead, 2-0 in the 73rd minute.
Moments later, Kaku fed Royer, who found space and launched his shot, again, past Steffen for the third and final goal of the match in the 76th.
Royer recorded his sixth career brace across all competitions and moved into sole possession for third all-time in franchise history.
Muyl became the 31st player in club history to record a goal in the playoffs.
Five different Red Bulls were credited with an assist. Kaku, Long and Muyl all recorded their first career playoff assist.
Luis Robles tallied three saves for his seventh career postseason clean sheet in his 20th career playoff match.
Robles' seven career playoff shutouts move him into a tie with Tom Presthus for seventh all-time in MLS history.
The Captain also tallied his eighth playoff win in net to move into a three-way tie for ninth all-time in league history.
The two legs of the conference final is set for Nov. 25 and Nov. 29 with the Red Bulls hosting the second leg as the top seed in the East.
New York Red Bulls 3, Columbus Crew SC 0
Aggregate: Red Bulls 3 - 1
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals Leg 2
Sunday - 7:30 p.m. ET
Red Bull Arena | Harrison, N.J.
NY - Alex Muyl 1 (Long, Royer) 17'
NY - Daniel Royer 1 (Muyl, Adams) 73'
NY - Daniel Royer 2 (Kaku) 76'
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Aaron Long, Michael Amir Murillo, Tim Parker, Kemar Lawrence, Sean Davis, Tyler Adams, Kaku, Alex Muyl (Marc Rzatkowski, 85'), Danny Royer (Derrick Etienne, Jr., 85'), Bradley Wright-Phillips
TOTAL SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 4
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Gaston Sauro (Patrick Mullins, 79'), Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Artur, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Luis Argudo, 84'), Pedro Santos (Cristian Martinez, 82'), Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDE: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 1
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Eric Weisbrod
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Allen Chapman
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