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New York Red Bulls fall to Montreal Impact in first leg of MLS Eastern Conference semifinals

Montreal Impact's Victor Cabrera, left, challenges New York

Montreal Impact's Victor Cabrera, left, challenges New York Red Bulls' Bradley Wright-Phillips during first-half action of the first leg of the Eastern Conference MLS soccer semifinal in Montreal, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Graham Hughes

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.

New York Sports