MLS News: New York defeated Montreal to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, Austin beat Dallas

    New York City advanced to the final four of the MLS Playoffs for the second consecutive season after a convincing 3-1 away win over Montreal on Sunday.

    City — the defending champions after defeating the Portland Timbers in the 2021 MLS Cup — came one step closer to going back to back when Gabriel Pereira, thanks to a clever cut, scored an open goal against Maximiliano Morales in the sixth minute.

    Their lead doubled in stoppage time of the first half when Santiago Rodriguez hit a beautiful ball to Heber behind the Montreal defenders, who cleared it in style with his first shot from outside the box.

    Talles Magno was taken off the bench in the 58th minute, and three minutes later he took charge of the penalty, calmly scoring into the bottom left corner to make it 3-0.

    Montreal was able to score a consolation goal thanks to George Mihailovic in the 85th minute, but that was all they could muster as New York booked their place in the Eastern Conference Finals against East’s top seed Philadelphia Union.

    Later on Sunday night, Austin needed two straight first-half goals to eliminate Dallas 2-1.

    Austin took the lead in the 26th minute when a corner kicked through the crowd to find Moussa Gite at the back post, and just three minutes later they had a 2-0 lead after Sebastian Driussi took advantage of a midfield loss to finish well on the counterattack.

    A nimble move by the team saw Dallas pull back one goal from Alan Valasco in the 65th minute, but they failed to equalize.

    Austin will play Western Conference top seed, LAFC, in the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.

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