HARRISON, New Jersey (AP) New York’s Sacha Kljestan and Lloyd Sam scored to help the Red Bulls beat ten-man Montreal 2-1 on Wednesday, moving six points clear atop Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference and closer to clinching the conference title.
New York needs just one more point from its remaining two games in the regular season to seal top spot in the East and an advantageous draw in the playoffs. The Red Bulls are three points ahead of the West’s top teams for the overall league lead.
Montreal played a man down from the 15th minute when Ambroise Oyongo was sent off for using a hand to block Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal-bound shot. Kljestan put away the ensuing penalty.
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Wright-Phillips slipped behind the defense on a breakaway, pulling goalkeeper Evan Bush out to the top of the box, but couldn’t convert either of two shots. The second, however, ricocheted back to Sam, who chipped over a scrambling Bush to make it 2-0 before halftime.
Didier Drogba converted a penalty in the 67th for Montreal but the visitors could not find an equalizer.
Vancouver was held to a scoreless draw at home by Dallas, staying a point behind the Texan club in the tight fight for top spot in the West, but the result was enough to clinch a playoff spot.
Dallas and Los Angeles remained a point ahead of the Whitecaps, with Dallas having a game in hand on its two rivals.
Dallas had the best chance to win it, but substitute Blaz Perez’s shot in the 90th minute slipped just wide of the far post.