Red Bulls through to East final despite loss in D.C

Sat Nov 8, 2014 5:00pm EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The New York Red Bulls reached the Eastern Conference final in the MLS playoffs despite a 2-1 defeat by D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Saturday.

The result left New York with a 3-2 aggregate triumph, their first ever playoff series win over D.C, and Mike Petke's team will play Columbus or New England in the East final.

Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, United had a tough task but after a sluggish start they got themselves into the tie with a 37th minute goal from Nick DeLeon.

Left back Taylor Kemp whipped in a fine cross from the left and DeLeon broke free of his marker, Dax McCarty, to power in his header.

Another goal would have brought the score level on aggregate and just after the interval Fabian Espindola went very close with a diving header from a DeLeon cross.

But once again it was New York's former France international Thierry Henry who proved decisive.

Henry collected a header from Bradley Wright-Phillips on the left of the box, beat his man and fired in a low cross which compatriot Peguy Luyindula met with a fine, one touch finish.

The Red Bulls had Costa Rican left back Roy Miller sent off in the 78th minute for a reckless high challenge and D.C grabbed a second in stoppage time when Sean Franklin fired in from close range.

That counted for little, however and Henry, whose contract with New York runs out at the end of this season, continues on his goal of signing out with the franchise's first MLS Cup win.   Continued...

Nov 8, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry (left) and defender Roy Miller (7) celebrate after a New York Red Bulls goal against the D.C. United during the second half at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports