Giovinco, Toronto roll into MLS fi­nal four

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK >> Se­bas­tian Giovinco had the fourth hat trick in MLS play­off his­tory and Toronto FC routed New York City FC 5-0 on Sunday night 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 play­off for­mat in 2003.

Toronto will face the Mon­treal Im­pact in the two-game con­fer­ence fi­nals, with Game 1 set for Mon­treal on Tues­day, Nov. 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 sixth minute, Giovinco set­tled Alti­dore’s pass, spun his de­fender and sent it past a late div­ing Eirik Jo­hansen. Giovinco had a penalty-kick goal 14 min­utes later.

In the 30th, Alti­dore was the first to Eriq Zavaleta’s chipped pass over the de­fense and he blasted it past Jo­hansen. Jonathan Osor scored in the 50th, and Giovinco capped the scor­ing in the 91st with his seventh goal in his last six games. IM­PACT 2, RED BULLS 1, (IM­PACT ADVANES ON 3-1 AG­GRE­GATE) >> Ig­na­cio Pi­atti scored his sec­ond goal of the game in the 85th minute and Mon­treal beat New York to ad­vance to the Eastern Con­fer­ence fi­nals for the first time.

Mon­treal won the twogame, to­tal-goals se­ries 3-1 after tak­ing the opener 1-0 at home last week.

Pi­atti opened the scor­ing in the 51st minute, pow­er­ing a left-footed shot past goal­keeper Luis Robles.

Eight min­utes after New York tied it, Pi­atti iced it with his right foot. Do­minic Oduro raced down the left side­line on a break­away and waited for help. Di­dier Drogba trailed up the mid­dle, drew two de­fend­ers and found an open Pi­atti for a close-range shot.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, who won his sec­ond MLS Golden Boot in the last three sea­sons with 24 reg­u­lar-sea­son goals, scored on a de­flected shot in the 78th minute. RAPIDS 1, GALAXY 0 (1-1 AG­GRE­GATE, RAPIDS WINS 3-1 ON PKS) >> Tim Howard made two saves in the penalty shootout and Colorado beat Los An­ge­les 3-1 on penal­ties to ad­vance to the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

Colorado won the reg­u­la­tion game 1-0, ty­ing the two-game, to­tal-goals se­ries 1-1 and forc­ing the tiebreaker. Los An­ge­les won 1-0 at home last Sunday.

Colorado reached its first con­fer­ence fi­nals since win­ning the MLS Cup in 2010.

Shkelzen Gashi scored in the 36th minute.

In the shootout, Steven Ger­rard put Los An­ge­les in front, but the Galaxy missed their next three at­tempts. Dos Santos sent it over the cross­bar, Howard de­nied Ash­ley Cole after a slow ap­proach and Howard sealed it by div­ing to his right to block Jeff Lar­en­tow­icz’s roller. Kevin Doyle, Se­bastien Le Toux and Marco Pappa con­verted PKs for Colorado.

AN­DRES KUDACKI — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Toronto FC’s Se­bas­tian Giovinco cel­e­brates his goal dur­ing an MLS sec­ond­leg Eastern Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal against New York City FC at Yan­kee Sta­dium Sunday.

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