MLS Cup Finals: NYC eliminates record-breaking penalties

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New York City has eliminated the record-breaking Supporters’ Shield winners, New England, by 5-3 on penalties after an exciting 2-2 draw in the MLS Cup conference semifinal victory on Tuesday.

Bruce Arenas Revs had equalized twice, including Tajon Buchanan’s level in the 118th minute, to send the match to a shootout, but City goalkeeper Sean Johnson was the hero and denied Adam Buksa’s tame effort.

Alexander Callens delivered the crucial penalty kick to win City’s first appearance in the Conference final, ending New England’s hopes of a first MLS Cup ever after setting a single season record for most points with 73 in 2021.

City host the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference final on Sunday, even though they will be without top scorer Valentin Castellanos, who was sent off after scoring in extra time.

The visitors took the lead in the third minute with Santiago Rodriguez finishing a fine team move by sweeping Tayvon Gray’s post home.

Revs equalized in the ninth minute when Polish striker Buksa headed in from Carles Gil’s free kick.

New England’s Thomas McNamara headed over goal in the second half, while Maxi Moralez’s cannoned a header into the post for City.

Castellanos blew up a big chance late in regular time before putting City ahead in extra time by emphatically hitting Gudmundur Thorarinsson’s post.

The Argentine striker was sent off minutes later for another offense that could be reserved, with a late tackle, and the Revs took advantage with Buchanan volleying in Ema Boateng’s ball in the 118th minute.

Pants almost settled the competition before the shootout as he blasted forward, but his left-footed shot was pushed over by Johnson.

In the shootout, Johnson Buksa again refused with a low left-handed save, and City converted all five of their spot kicks to ensure their progress.

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