Jozy Altidore was suspended in a controversial decision for the first leg against Columbus. So the scenario was fitting where Altidore overcame an injury in the 49th minute to score the lone goal in the 60th minute, sending Toronto FC to the 2017 MLS Cup with a 1-0 win.
Toronto FC will host either Seattle or Houston on December 9, but that will likely be Seattle. The MLS Cup defending champion Sounders scored a pair of first-half goals in the opening leg in Houston to post the 2-0 victory. Even if the Dynamo can shut down the Sounders in Seattle Thursday night, the 2 away goals advantage looms large.
In the first leg at Columbus, Toronto did not put a shot on target. Toronto had six shots in the first half and one in the second, all off the mark.
Toronto FC won the Supporters Shield, dominating the MLS schedule. The Reds have had to focus on defence, only scoring 3 goals in 4 playoff games.
2017 MLS Canadian teams playoffs results
|December 9||Seattle/Houston @ Toronto||TBD||TBD|
|November 29||Columbus @ Toronto||Toronto||1-0|
|November 21||Toronto @ Columbus||Tie||0-0|
|November 5||New York Red Bulls @ Toronto||NY Red Bulls||1-0|
|November 2||Vancouver @ Seattle||Seattle||2-0|
|October 30||Toronto @ New York Red Bulls||Toronto||2-1|
|October 29||Seattle @ Vancouver||Tie||0-0|
|October 25||San Jose @ Vancouver||Vancouver||5-0|
The lone goal in this series started with a goal kick from Toronto FC goalie Alex Bono. A few fortunate bounces later, the ball came to Sebastian Giovinco, who was also suspended in the first leg. Giovinco back passed the ball to Altidore, who gave a nice leading pass to Victor Vazquez. Vazquez set up Altidore with a beautiful pass and Altidore kicked the ball into the far left section of the Columbus goal.
"I couldn't leave the game. I felt like I had more to give," Altidore told Fox Sports 1. "There was a chance coming, and luckily enough the chance came when I was still on." Altidore said to TSN, "This is a testament to the organization."
Altidore did come out in the 68th minute after giving the Reds all the scoring the team would need.
If the Sounders do win tonight, the 2017 MLS Cup will be a rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup, which Seattle won on penalty kicks.
The 2017 MLS Cup will be at BMO Field on December 9 at 4 pm Eastern on ESPN and TSN. We'll have a 2017 MLS Cup preview next week.
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