Red Bulls extend playoff streak with 1-0 win over Nashville SC
Posted on: 22 Oct, 2023 at 07:10 AM
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
John Tolkin scored on a penalty kick in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to give the visiting New York Red Bulls a dramatic 1-0 Decision Day victory over Nashville SC on Saturday afternoon.
New York qualified for the playoffs for the 14th straight season, the longest active playoff streak in major North American sports.
Carlos Coronel made four saves for his ninth clean sheet of the season for New York (11-13-10, 43 points) which finished eighth and will host ninth-place Charlotte FC in the Eastern Conference wild-card match on Wednesday night.
The playoff streak, which began in 2010, also broke a tie with the Seattle Sounders (2009-21) for the longest in MLS history.
Joe Willis finished with four saves for Nashville SC (13-11-10, 49 points) who finished in seventh place and will play second-place Orlando City in the opening round of the MLS Cup playoffs.
The Red Bulls entered stoppage time knowing they needed a goal to keep their playoff streak alive and got a major break in the 92nd minute when Nashville's Anibal Godoy tripped midfielder Luquinhas right inside the top of the 18-yard box.
Tolkin then blasted a left-footed shot into the right corner of the goal as Willis dived to the left. It was his third goal of the season.
Both teams had excellent scoring chances in a scoreless first half that saw Nashville finish with a 4-2 edge in shots of goal.
Reigning Golden Boot winner Hany Mukhtar had a pair of good chances for Nashville, including one on a breakaway in the 16th, but Coronel made a diving finger-tip deflection on his right-footed shot from the left side of the box that caromed off the far right post.
Fafa Picault had another excellent chance for the home team in the eighth minute of stoppage time with a right-footed shot from the left side of the six-yard box that Coronel caught.
Forward Elias Manoel had the best scoring chance for the Red Bulls in the 25th minute when he took a through pass from Luquinhas, but Willis saved his left-footed attempt from the left side of the box.
Willis also made a diving two-handed grab of a Manoel right-footed shot from the middle of the box in the 50th minute.
--Field Level Media