New York City FC handled the Philadelphia Union 3-1 in Wednesday night’s knockout round match in the Bronx, setting them up for a two-leg semifinals matchup against second-seed Atlanta United starting on Sunday.
Much like in their win against the Union on Sunday, NYCFC opened the scoring in the first 10 minutes as Ismael Tajouri-Shradi fired a rocket past Union keeper Andre Blake. Maxi Moralez found Shradi running past David Villa and Shradi fired the shot on the first touch for the goal.
NYCFC extended their lead to 2-0 in the first half on a goal by Villa off of a counter that was started by Ronald Matarrita, and then 3-0 in the 78th minute as Moralez chipped Blake.
Philadelphia drew one back in the final ten minutes to prevent the shutout as Cory Burke tapped in a cross from Ilsinho in the 83rd minute to put the score at 3-1.
NYCFC reaches to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the third straight year, except this time they’ll host the first leg of the series on Sunday against an Atlanta team that earned a first-round bye as the second seed in the East.
Both teams played to a pair of draws during the regular season.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Moralez had two huge assists in the first half and a highlight-worthy chip over Blake to put NYCFC up 3-0 in the 78th minute.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Tajouri-Shradi’s rocket of an opening goal in the 10th minute set the tone early for NYCFC in the win.
MATCH TO FORGET: The usually reliable Andre Blake was anything but for the Union on Wednesday night, allowing the two early goals in the first half and was chipped by Moralez for NYCFC’s third goal.