New York Red Bulls outclass Chicago Fire in knockout round

The New York Red Bulls came out swinging early and beat Chicago 4-0 to knock the Fire out of the MLS playoffs on Wednesday night.

Bradley Wright-Phillips got the visitors off to the perfect start in this winner-takes-all format, settling a perfect Damien Perrinelle chip into the area, beating goalkeeper Matt Lampson and poking home from close range.

Just past the 10-minute mark, there was more good news for the Red Bulls when Tyler Adams beat his defender on the right wing and curled a perfect cross in front of goal for Sacha Kljestan to slot home to make it 2-0.

Chicago took nearly half an hour to get its first legitimate chance, but Nemanja Nikolic's looping header from a Luis Solignac was easily handled by Luis Robles.

The Fire looked inspired after the break, coming close to finding a first goal twice at the start of the second half. Robles stopped a Chicago header from a corner on the doorstep right before Matt Polster narrowly missed to the left of goal with a shot from 20 yards out.

Daniel Royer would seal victory for the Red Bulls in the 70th minute, finishing a well-worked team move with a neat turn and strike to make it 3-0. 

And New York poured salt in the wound as time was running out, Kljestan setting up Gonzalo Veron for a cheeky chip to make it 4-0.

The Red Bulls will face Supporters' Shield winning Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals.