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MLS Review: Giovinco hat-trick sends NYC packing, Galaxy lose on pens

Sebastian Giovinco and Toronto FC showed no mercy as they crushed New York City 5-0 to ease into the MLS Eastern Conference championship.

Last season’s MVP Giovinco scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s second leg to lead Toronto to a devastating 7-0 aggregate win and a step closer to the MLS Cup.

Leading 2-0 heading into the return fixture of the semi-final in the Big Apple, Toronto wasted no time ending New York City’s hopes of a comeback at Yankee Stadium.

Giovinco broke the deadlock in the sixth minute with an exquisite turn and powerful low shot before the Italy international doubled the lead on the night from the penalty spot 13 minutes later.

Jozy Altidore’s thunderous volley made it 3-0 on the half-hour mark before Will Johnson got in on the action five minutes into the second half as New York City pushed forward.

Former Juventus forward Giovinco completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, with Canadian rivals Montreal Impact next up in the play-offs.

The Impact upstaged New York Red Bulls 2-1 thanks to Ignacio Piatti’s brace.

Piatti netted two goals in the second half as the Impact triumphed 3-1 on aggregate to reach the Eastern Conference championship for the first time in their history.

Red Bulls striker and the league’s leading goalscorer Bradley Wright-Phillips cancelled out Piatti’s second-half opener with 13 minutes remaining.

But Didier Drogba came off the bench to set up Piatti in the 85th minute at Red Bull Arena.

Colorado Rapids eliminated LA Galaxy after prevailing 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out earlier on Sunday.

The Rapids won the second leg 1-0 to level the tie at 1-1 and after a scoreless extra time, Tim Howard made two big saves to send the Galaxy packing.

Next up for the Rapids in the Western Conference are Seattle Sounders.

The Sounders lost 2-1 to Supporters’ Shield winners FC Dallas but still progressed 4-2 on aggregate.

Mon 7 Nov, 2016
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