MLS News: NYCFC beat Inter Miami 3-0 in MLS playoffs, FC Dallas beat Minnesota in shootout

    Defending MLS champions New York City are one step closer to being relegated after a comfortable 3-0 win over Inter Miami in the first round of the MLS Playoffs.

    City were in control the whole time, throwing 16 first-half shots compared to Miami’s four, but they went 0-0 at half time after hitting three woodwork.

    In one instance, a pass from Miami goaltender Drake Callender provided City’s Heber with the perfect opportunity to break the deadlock, but his chip was dropped off the line into the crossbar and the rebound was knocked down by a second defenseman.

    City’s dominance was rewarded in the second half, with Santiago Rodriguez driving brilliantly into Miami’s box before handing it to Gabriel Pereira to finish in the 63rd minute before Rodriguez also scored the second goal six minutes later with a clever heel kick. Maximiliano Morales.

    Heber completed a stoppage-time rout to end the career of iconic Miami forward Gonzalo Higuain, who played in his final season, and City now have to take on Montreal in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

    Later that day, Dallas needed a penalty shoot-out to overtake Minnesota in the Western Conference.

    Emanuel Reynoso’s goal for Minnesota in the 53rd minute was canceled out by Facundo Quiñon in the 64th minute, and after 30 minutes of extra time it all came down to a penalty.

    It was Minnesota captain Wil Trapp who failed to convert his team’s second penalty, his hand effort in the bottom left corner being saved by Dallas’ Maarten Paes before Alan Velasco finished the job in style with a brash panenka.

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