NYCFC edge Red Bulls in eMLS tourney with golden goal

In the tightest weekend in the eMLS Tournament to date, New York City FC on Sunday topped FC Dallas on a golden goal — the second such goal of the day — to advance to the Championship Week.

They join LAFC and Sporting KC in the four-team playoff, with one more spot to be booked.

NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and FC Dallas midfielder Fafa Picault met in the first leg of the weekend’s final match, but a series of hit goalposts, missed chances and excellent saves led to a scoreless draw. In Leg 2, Chris “Didychrislito” Holly (NYC) and Ihab “i9IBBS” Abualneel (Dallas) did the same, leaving it to Johnson and Picault to decide in overtime.

That match also saw spectacular saves on both sides, but Johnson finally broke through, getting the winner in the 26th minute.

The day opened with FC Dallas also going the distance, and then some, against the Houston Dynamo. After Picault and Houston midfielder Memo Rodriguez played a scoreless first leg, i9IBBS and 2018 eMLS Cup winner Guillermo “KidM3mito” Trevino did the same. Unlike his match against Johnson, Picault did find the back of the net in the golden-goal period, scoring the winner just before the 45th minute.

Johnson and Didychrislito advanced to the final round Sunday by blowing past the New York Red Bulls in the day’s only laugher, 5-1 on aggregate.

Johnson was the star in that one as he scored three times on Red Bulls defender Aaron Long to win the first leg 3-0. Didychrislito then topped George “Adamou” Adamou 2-1.

The eMLS Tournament Special continues next Sunday with an all-Canada matchup (the Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC) and an all-Southeast showdown (Atlanta United FC vs. Orlando City SC).

The 16-team tournament features one player from each participating club paired with that team’s eMLS pro playing on FIFA 20. The MLS players will play the first leg with the eMLS stars playing the second, with the winner advancing on aggregate.

The single-elimination tournament will be played remotely and be spread over five weekends. The teams are divided into four, four-team quadrants, with one team emerging from a quadrant each weekend.

The four weekend winners will meet May 17 for Championship Week, when the semifinals and finals will be played.

At the conclusion of each weekend, MLS and Fox Sports will make donation on behalf of that weekend’s winner to Feeding America, while MLS will also support Food Banks Canada. Fox has the television rights to the matches and aired Sunday’s matches live on FS1.

2020 eMLS Tournament Special scores / schedule:

Week 1 scores
Chicago Fire FC 3, FC Cincinnati 1
FC Cincinnati 2, Chicago Fire FC 0
Chicago Fire FC 1, FC Cincinnati 0
(Chicago Fire FC advance on golden goal)

LAFC 1, LA Galaxy 0
LAFC 3, LA Galaxy 1
(LAFC advance 4-1 on aggregate)

LAFC 4, Chicago Fire FC 0
LAFC 2, Chicago Fire FC 1
(LAFC advance 6-1 on aggregate)

Week 2 scores
Sporting KC 4, Minnesota United 0
Sporting KC 2, Minnesota United 0
(Sporting KC advance 6-0 on aggregate)

D.C. United 2, New England Revolution 1
D.C. United 0, New England Revolution 0
(D.C. United advance 2-1 on aggregate)

Sporting KC 2, D.C. United 0
Sporting KC 3, D.C. United 0
(Sporting KC advance 5-0 on aggregate)

Week 3 scores
May 3
New York City FC 3, New York Red Bulls 0
New York City FC 2, New York Red Bulls 1
(NYCFC advance 5-1 on aggregate)

FC Dallas 0, Houston Dynamo 0
FC Dallas 0, Houston Dynamo 0
FC Dallas 1, Houston Dynamo 0
(FC Dallas advance on golden goal)

New York City FC 0, New York Red Bulls 0
New York City FC 0, New York Red Bulls 0
New York City FC 1, New York Red Bulls 0
(NYCFC advance on golden goal)

Week 4 schedule
May 10
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC
Atlanta United FC vs. Orlando City SC
* Winners play one another

Semifinals & championship
May 17
LAFC, Sporting KC, New York City FC, TBD

–Field Level Media

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