MLS: New York 1, Philadelphia 0

HARRISON, N.J., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A header by Dane Richards turned into a fluke goal in the 8th minute Thursday, sending New York into the MLS playoffs with a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia.

The shot by Richards eluded goaltender Faryd Mondragon, but bounced off the left post. The ball then caromed off the shoulder of Mondragon, who was sprawled on the ground, and hopped back into the net for an own goal.


New York thus clinched at least the fourth and final wild-card playoff berth and eliminated Portland from post-season contention.

Philadelphia also saw its hopes for an Eastern Conference title diminish. The Union began the night tied with Kansas City for the conference lead and Kansas City can win the crown with either a tie or a victory against D.C. United Saturday.

New York and Philadelphia were the first two teams to complete their 34-game regular season.

Although seedings remain to be determined in the playoffs, New York will join Kansas City, Philadelphia, Columbus and Houston in post-season action from the Eastern Conference.

Los Angeles, which will finish with the best record in the league, will be in the playoffs from the West, along with Seattle, Salt Lake, Dallas and Colorado.


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