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    NYC defeat Montreal to advance to Eastern Conference Final, Austin beat Dallas

    New York City are through to the final four in the MLS playoffs for the second season in a row after a convincing 3-1 victory away from home against Montreal on Sunday.

    City – the reigning champions after defeating the Portland Timbers in the 2021 MLS Cup – moved one step closer to going back-to-back when a smart cutback from Gabriel Pereira presented Maximiliano Moralez with an open goal in the sixth minute.

    Their lead was doubled in first-half stoppage-time as Santiago Rodriguez picked out a beautiful ball through to Heber in behind the Montreal defence, and he tucked it away stylishly with his first-time strike from just outside the six-yard box.

    Talles Magno was brought off the City bench in the 58th minute, and he assumed penalty responsibilities just three minutes later, finishing calmly into the bottom-left corner to make it 3-0.

    Montreal were able to salvage a consolation goal through Djordje Mihailovic in the 85th minute, but that would be all they could muster as New York booked their place in the Eastern Conference Final against the Philadelphia Union – the east’s top seed.

    Later on Sunday night, two first-half goals in quick succession was enough for Austin to eliminate Dallas 2-1.

    Austin jumped ahead in the 26th minute when a corner bounced its way through a crowd and found Moussa Djite at the back post, and just three minutes later they led 2-0 after Sebastian Driussi capitalised on a midfield turnover and finished well on the counter.

    A slick team move resulted in Dallas pulling one goal back through Alan Valasco in the 65th minute, but they were unable to find an equaliser.

    Austin will play the Western Conference’s top seed, LAFC, in the Western Conference Final on Sunday.

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