Brandon Vazquez scored the winning goal in the 86th minute as visiting FC Cincinnati rallied for a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon in a first-round game of the MLS Cup Playoffs at Harrison, N.J.
The fourth-year club will advance to face the top-seeded Philadelphia Union on Thursday in the Eastern Conference semifinals after finishing in last place during its first three campaigns.
The Red Bulls' Dylan Nealis was beaten on the right side by Sergio Santos, who subbed in for star Brenner in the 67th minute. Santos spotted an uncovered Vazquez racing down the center of the field and the star forward easily scored on a right-footed shot past New York goaltender Carlos Coronel.
Luciano Acosta scored the equalizing goal with a penalty kick in the 74th minute for FC Cincinnati.
After a scoreless first half, the Red Bulls' Lewis Morgan scored early in the 48th minute. Morgan also was injured after scoring and did not play the remainder of the match.
New York lost in the first round for the fourth straight season and faltered in its first home postseason game since 2018.
New York goalie Carlos Coronel made four saves.
Morgan gave the Red Bulls the lead when he gained possession after a scramble in front of the net. From outside of the penalty area, Morgan blasted a right-footed shot into the top-right corner of the goal.
After getting his first-career MLS playoff goal Morgan was injured in the subsequent celebration and replaced by Dylan Nealis. He ran to the corner after the score and appeared to experience discomfort when a teammate jumped on back to celebrate.
Cincinnati had a goal disallowed in the 61st minute when video review ruled Jeff Cameron was offside.
In the 72nd minute, Cincinnati's Alvaro Barreal was fouled by Elias Manoel and two minutes later, Acosta cashed on the penalty kick by sending a right-footed shot to the right side of the goal as Coronel moved in the opposite direction.
After scoring 18 goals during the regular season to tie for the team lead, Vazquez capitalized on a late New York defensive breakdown to send FC Cincinnati through to the next round.