For the first time in franchise history, Toronto FC is off to the Eastern Conference finals. The result was never really in doubt as Toronto FC dominated New York City FC en route to an easy 5-0 victory, 7-0 on aggregate at Yankee Stadium.
Sebastian Giovinco scored a hat-trick, with two of those goals coming in the first 20 minutes. Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio added a goal each, while Clint Irwin had his second straight playoff clean sheet, although he didn't have much work.
It was a dream start to the match for Toronto FC, who scored a crucial away goal in just the sixth minute to go 3-0 up on aggregate. Altidore found Giovinco with a brilliant through ball at the top of the NYCFC box. The Italian turned his defender, before firing the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Midway through the half, Giovinco doubled the Toronto lead from the penalty spot. He was taken down in the box by New York defender Frederic Brillant. He has not missed from the penalty spot this season, and it was his third goal of the MLS Cup playoffs.
Altidore, not to be outdone, added his third goal of the playoffs in the 30th minute. Eriq Zavaleta played a ball forward from the back that was misjudged by a New York defender. The bounce found its way to Altidore, who volleyed home a rocket into the top of the net.
It was as good a half as Toronto could have hoped for, and further evidence that they are for real in this year's MLS Cup playoffs. They had a 5-0 lead on aggregate, and never really looked challenged by the home team.
Knowing that the game, and the series, was already out of reach for New York, Greg Vanney subbed off Armando Cooper for Will Johnson at the half. Cooper was on a yellow card, which he had picked up in the home leg after an altercation with David Villa.
Johnson made an immediate impact in the second half. After Giovinco played a ball into the New York box, Johnson laid it off to Osorio on the left side of the box. The young Canadian scored his second goal of the playoffs, and third in four matches, to keep his streak of good form going.
Knowing they had been sounding defeated, New York did little in the way of attacking in the second half. Down six goals on aggregate they had no fight left, and their home supporters left in droves knowing their season was all but over.
Giovinco, however, wanted to get the last word on the match, putting a shot across the net into the far corner despite being surrounded by NYCFC defenders. It was a brilliant hat-trick goal and his fourth of the MLS cup playoffs.
The win means that Toronto FC will advance to the Conference Finals where they will take on the Montreal Impact. It will start on Tuesday, November 22 in Montreal.