The 2016 MLS playoffs started with Toronto getting their first playoff win in team history by knocking out Philadelphia 3-1. Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring for Toronto in the 15th minute at BMO Field. He assisted on Jonathan Osorio’s goal in the 48th. Alejandro Bedoya pulled a goal back for Philadelphia in the 73rd, but Jozy Altidore scored Toronto’s third goal in the 85th minute.
“Starting at the top, Jozy was just huge,” Toronto coach Greg Vanney said. “He played big, he played physical, at times he just looked possessed to track down the ball and take it away from people. He used his size and that was big for us, in a game where there wasn’t a whole lot of passing the ball around, it was a game where both teams were pressing each other pretty quickly for large stretches of it. We had to play forward quick and use him as a release a lot of times, and he was fantastic at bringing guys in the play, holding up the play, fighting and competing for first balls so that we could win second balls. Obviously the goal at the end was massive as it took a lot of tension out of the game when those final minutes were getting stressful at 2-1. He stepped up big, the play he made at the beginning to set Seba up, was just working his tail off to get into the box, kind of man handling, winning space and popping it over to Seba. His performance was outstanding.”
LA also advanced 3-1 at home, knocking out Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference. Alan Gordon put the Galaxy up in the 14th minute with Joao Plata equalizing from the penalty spot in the 21st. Emmanuel Boateng scored for LA in the 26th minute and again in the 34th. Gordon assisted on both goals.
“Yeah it was a good performance,” Gordon said. “It’s something that we wanted to do, get after it, press as a team, I thought we were connected all game. I thought everyone was committed to the team and it showed.”