Maximiliano Moralez had two assists in the first half and added a goal of his own in the second half to help New York City F.C. advance out of the first round of the M.L.S. Cup playoffs with a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and David Villa scored first-half goals to help New York move forward out of the one-game elimination round to play second-seeded Atlanta United in a two-game Eastern Conference semifinal series. The first game is scheduled for Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
In the 10th minute, Moralez sent a pass forward that Villa flicked off his heel to Tajouri-Shradi, who turned it with a 22-yard line drive into the upper left-hand corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
On a counterattack following a turnover, Ronald Matarrita passed to Moralez charging down the left side. Moralez sent the ball to Villa, who slotted in his team-leading 15th goal of the year from just outside the penalty area in the 26th minute.
Moralez made the score 3-0 in the 78th when he ran on to a long ball from Anton Tinnerholm and lobbed it over the charging Union goalkeeper, Andre Blake, from 12 yards.
Philadelphia avoided the shutout when Ilsinho sent a short pass into the middle of the 6-yard box for an easy goal by Cory Burke in the 83rd.
N.Y.C.F.C. had also beaten Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season Sunday, also by a 3-1 score.
TIMBERS 2, F.C. DALLAS 1 Diego Valeri scored two goals to lead visiting Portland past Dallas in a first-round match despite the Timbers losing a man to a red card in the second half.
Valeri put Portland ahead with a curled free kick in the 23rd minute. After Larrys Mabiala was sent off for tackling Dallas’s Dominique Badji on a breakaway in the 58th minute, Valeri responded by doubling Portland’s lead in the 71st minute following a botched clearance by the Dallas defense.
Matt Hedges scored a consolation goal for Dallas in stoppage time.
The Timbers will face either Kansas City or Seattle in the Western Conference semifinals. (NYT)