Giovinco's hat-trick inspires Toronto
NEW YORK (AP):
Sebastian Giovinco scored the fourth hat-trick in MLS play-off history as Toronto FC routed New York City FC 5-0 on Sunday to reach the Eastern Conference finals.
With a 7-0 aggregate victory, Toronto set an MLS record for the largest margin of victory in a two-legged series since the league started using the play-off format in 2003.
Toronto will face the Montreal Impact in the conference finals, with Game 1 set for Montreal on Tuesday, November 22. They are the first Canadian teams in league history to reach the conference finals.
Giovinco scored twice in the first 20 minutes, and Jozy Altidore added another first-half goal.
In the 30th, Altidore was the first to Eriq Zavaleta's chipped pass over the defence and he blasted it past the keeper. Jonathan Osor scored in the 50th, and Giovinco capped the scoring in stoppage time with his seventh goal in his last six games.
Montreal edged the New York Red Bulls 2-1 and advanced 3-1 on aggregate, with Ignacio Piatti scoring his second goal of the game in the 85th minute.
Piatti opened the scoring in the 51st minute, powering a left-foot shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls equalised via Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 78th before Didier Drogba drew in two defenders and passed to an unmarked Piatti to score the winner.
The Western Conference championship will feature Colorado against Seattle.