MONTREAL — Matteo Mancosu scored in the second half and the Montreal Impact beat the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Sunday in the opening match of their MLS Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Montreal will take a one-goal lead into the second leg of the two-game, aggregate-goals series next Sunday at Red Bull Arena.
New York will be without forward Omer Damari, a substitute who was sent off in injury time after a hard slide into Calum Mallace.
The Impact were playing on only three days of rest after their 4-2 victory at D.C. United in the knockout round Thursday, when Mancosu scored twice. They were facing the top team in the Eastern Conference, led by MLS goals-leader Bradley Wright Phillips.
In the 61st, the Impact’s counter-attacking game clicked in as Marco Donadel lofted a high pass over the Red Bulls’ defense and, without breaking stride, former Bologna striker Mancosu drilled a high shot under the crossbar for his third of the postseason.
The Impact were without striker Didier Drogba for a third straight game. The Ivorian has been recovering from a sore back. Coach Mauro Biello had hoped to have him available off the bench.