Crew beats Red Bulls 1-0 in first leg of Eastern semifinal

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              New York City FC's Ronald Matarrita, right, fights for the ball against Atlanta United FC's Jeff Larentowicz during an Eastern Conference MLS soccer semifinal matchup Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gyasi Zardes scored his 20th goal of the season in the 61st minute, helping the Columbus Crew beat the Supporters’ Shield holder New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Sunday in the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The second leg is next Sunday in Harrison, New Jersey.

Zardes had a sliding finish of a back-heel pass from second-half substitute Federico Higuain. It was Zardes’ third career postseason goal.

New York goalkeeper Luis Robles denied Pedro Santos’ open shot from distance in the 89th, and Steffen blocked Bradley Wright-Phillips‘ glancing header in stoppage time.

New York’s best scoring chance came in the 27th minute when Tim Parker headed a corner kick off the post that deflected off Steffen and was cleared away.

TIMBERS 2, SOUNDERS 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sebastian Blanco put the Timbers in front with a goal in the 29th minute and Portland hung on over a tense second half in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals.

The second leg is set for Thursday night in Seattle.

Ruidiaz scored in the 10th minute for the Sounders. The Timbers pulled even a short time later on Jeremy Ebobisse’s goal, and moved in front on Blanco’s goal.

ATLANTA UNITED 1, NYCFC 0

NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Remedi scored his first MLS goal in the 37th minute and Atlanta United beat New York FC in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Atlanta, which has won 11 of its 18 road games this season, will host the second leg next Sunday.

Remedi tapped in a rebound after Josef Martínez’s one-touch shot was blocked by Sean Johnson and settled against the post.

SPORTING KC 1, REAL SALT LAKE 1, TIE

SANDY, Utah (AP) — Diego Rubio scored from distance in the 60th minute, seconds after entering as a second-half substitute, and Western Conference champion Sporting Kansas City tied Real Salt Lake in Game 1 of the two-legged semifinal.

It was Rubio’s first touch since entering as a sub. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s clearance attempt was deflected by a hustling Felipe Gutierrez and Rubio settled it, took a touch and sent it inside the far post. Albert Rusnak scored for RSL in the 52nd minute.

Sporting KC will host the second leg next Sunday.