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RECAP: Luquinhas Goals Carry Red Bulls to Decision Day Clash

photo by Matt Kremkau

by Anthony J. Merced

HARRISON, N.J. - New York Red Bulls gave their playoff hopes a major boost with a 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday night, moving themselves level on points with DC United for the ninth and final playoff spot heading into the last game of the season. Designated player Luquinhas turned in one of his biggest performances, scoring two goals to give the team the kind of comfortable win they have lacked for much of the campaign.

Toronto proved to have little in the way of bite in the first half as New York pinned them into their own half. Despite the dominate performance, the Red Bulls were unable to take the lead until the 45th minute when the high press paid off. Elias Manoel forced a Toronto defender to turn over the ball in their own box, opening up Tom Barlow for an easy opening goal. 

The momentum continued into the second half, when Luquinhas doubled the lead with an effort from distance that beat the Toronto goalkeeper. From there New York continued to pressure the game with Toronto showing little signs of resistance. The third and final goal came when Kyle Duncan dribbled the ball into the box and passed through the defense to find Luquinhas for his second goal of the game. 

When the dust settles on the night, New York will be in 10th place, tied on points with DC United who have completed their 34-game schedule. The Red Bulls still have one game left in their season on October 21st against Nashville SC away from home. A win could see them through. However, results from Charlotte and Chicago could still weigh heavy on their chances.

STARTING XI:

New York Red Bulls: Coronel; Duncan, Nealis, Ndam (45' D. Nealis), Tolkin (77' Yearwood), Edelman (69' Stroud), Amaya, Fernandez (69' Harper), Luquinhas, Manoel (84' Burke), Barlow

Toronto FC: Gavran; O'Neill, Bradley (73' Vasquez), Mabika, Osorio, Coello, Ibarra (64' Mailula), Gutierrez (Petretta), Franklin, Owusu (72' Mbongue), Bernadeschi (82' Marshall-Rutty)

SCORING SUMMARY:
45' (New York Red Bulls) Tom Barlow assisted by Elias Manoel
48' (New York Red Bulls) Luquinhas assisted by Elias Manoel
65' (New York Red Bulls) Luquinhas assisted by Kyle Duncan

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