Giovinco’s hat trick keys Toronto’s MLS playoff win

Sebastian Giovinco had the fourth hat trick in MLS playoff history and Toronto FC routed New York City FC 5-0 on Sunday night to reach the Eastern Conference finals.

With a 7-0 aggregate victory, Toronto set an MLS record for the largest margin of victory in a two-legged series since the league started using the playoff format in 2003.

Toronto will face the Montreal Impact in the conference finals, with Game 1 set for Montreal on Tuesday, Nov. 22. They are the first Canadian teams in league history to reach the conference finals.

Giovinco scored twice in the first 20 minutes, and Jozy Altidore added another first-half goal. In the sixth minute, Giovinco settled Altidore’s pass, spun his defender and sent it past a late diving Eirik Johansen. Giovinco had a penalty-kick goal 14 minutes later.

In the 30th, Altidore was the first to Eriq Zavaleta’s chipped pass over the defense and he blasted it past Johansen. Jonathan Osor scored in the 50th, and Giovinco capped the scoring in the 91st with his seventh goal in his last six games.

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