HARRISON, NJ- Toronto FC defeated the New York Red Bulls last night to give themselves a huge advantage to progress to the Eastern Conference Final with a 2-1 away win.
TFC were at full force going into the game with no new injuries or suspensions. Beitashour started over Hasler at right back.
The Red Bulls were at full strength also, with the duo of Sascha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips in attack.
TFC took an early lead in the eighth minute when Victor Vazquez curved his shot into the bottom right corner to give the Reds a huge away goal.
Toronto nearly doubled their lead moments later when Altidore’s cross to Morrow was blocked on the line.
TFC’s dominant first half continued when Marky Delgado hit the crossbar with a header.
With the last kick of the first half, New York were given a penalty and Daniel Royer slotted it down the middle to bring the Red Bulls level going into the half.
An injured Drew Moor was replaced at halftime by Nick Hagglund, who has just come back from injury.
New York were really giving it a go in the second half, high pressing Toronto and putting pressure on the Reds.
The night looked like it was taking a wrong turn for TFC when Victor Vazquez was injured by Felipe and replaced by Jonathan Osorio.
Alex Bono made a couple brilliant saves to keep the score 1-1, as the Red Bulls were looking dangerous.
Just when New York were starting get into the game, Sebastian Giovinco stepped up with another beautiful free kick to give Toronto a 2-1 lead, and a crucial second away goal. Giovinco has scored six free kicks in all competition this season, a new MLS record.
Alex Bono made another great save in the 95th minute to deny the Red Bulls an equalizer, and TFC held on for a huge 2-1 road win.
“We stuck together. We know they like to get after you, but I thought we handled it well,” said TFC coach Greg Vanney after the win.
The Red Bulls will have to head to Toronto on Sunday and win by two goals to advance to the Conference Final.
“If we had a big hill to climb before, we’ve got a mountain now,” said NY coach Jesse Marsch.
The second leg will take place Sunday, November 5 at 3pm EST.
New York Red Bulls: Robles; Murillo, Long, Perrinelle; Adams, Davis, Felipe, Royer, Lawrence; Kljestan; Wright-Phillips.
Subs: Veron 63′, Bezecourt 82′.
Toronto FC: Bono; Zavaleta, Moor, Mavinga; Beitashou, Delgado, Bradley, Vazquez, Morrow; Giovinco, Altidore.
Subs: Hagglund 46′, Vazquez 65′, Cooper 86′.