Sebastian Giovinco scored his 22nd goal of the season, and Toronto FC beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Tuesday night to clinch its first playoff appearance.
Giovinco sent a charge through the crowd of 18,143 when he deked a slew of Red Bulls defenders before firing a shot into the right side of the net in the 78th minute. The star striker flew back to Canada hours after playing a Euro 2016 qualifier for Italy.
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It was the fourth straight win for Toronto FC (15-13-4), which is headed to the playoffs for the first time after joining MLS in 2006.
Herculez Gomez gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute.
Shaun Wright-Phillips scored for New York (16-10-6) in the 86th minute. The Red Bulls are five points ahead of Toronto FC for first place in the East with two games remaining on their schedule.
FC Dallas 2 — Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Mauro Diaz had a goal and an assist, and FC Dallas grabbed sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
FC Dallas (16-10-6) has 54 points and is tied with the New York Red Bulls atop Major League Soccer’s Supporters’ Shield standings. Vancouver (15-13-5) is in third place with 50 points, one point behind the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Michael Barrios opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. He drew a penalty in the box 10 minutes later, but Diaz’s penalty kick was denied by David Ousted.
Diaz made it 2-0 in the 52nd after a nice individual effort. Ousted got a hand on the shot but it found the back of the net.
Vancouver had its winless streak extended to five games. The Whitecaps’ best scoring chance came when Gershon Koffie’s shot in the 19th minute hit off the post.
Real Salt Lake 0 — Portland Timbers 1
Fanendo Adi scored on a penalty kick in the 54th minute, and the Timbers beat 10-man Real Salt Lake for their third straight road win in the series.
Portland (13-11-8) moved into a tie with Seattle for fifth in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake (11-13-8) is tied for eighth, six points back of the Timbers.
Jamison Olave was given a straight red card in the 52nd minute for taking down Lucas Melano in a goal-scoring position. Nick Rimando picked the wrong direction on Adi’s penalty kick.
Adi had a close-range shot saved in the 21st, and Rimando came out of his box to block Adi’s fast-break attempt in the 44th.
Adam Kwarasey preserved his MLS-leading 13th shutout with a reaction save of Javier Morales deflected shot in the 91st.