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Toronto FC claim Supporters' Shield as top team

Vazquez's winner helped Toronto FC clinch their first Supporters' Shield for the best record in Major League Soccer.

Published: 01st October 2017 03:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2017 03:20 PM   |  A+A-

Toronto FC teammates celebrate following their 4-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls in an MLS soccer game. | AP

By AFP

TORONTO: The Toronto FC clinched their first Supporters' Shield for the best record in Major League Soccer with a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at BMO Field.

Victor Vazquez scored the winning goal on a penalty kick in the 79th minute for Toronto, who not long ago were the league laughingstock but are now on the top of the table with a 19-5-8 record.

Vazquez gave Toronto a 3-2 lead after Jozy Altidore was taken down in the New York box by Aaron Long on a shot attempt. It was Altidore's first game back after missing three games with an injury.

Justin Morrow led Toronto with three goals, completing the hat trick in stoppage time on a pass from Altidore after Vazquez had netted the go-ahead score. Toronto FC won despite top scorer Sebastian Giovinco missing his fourth straight game with an injury.

Gonzalo Veron and Daniel Royer scored for the Red Bulls (12-12-7), who remained in the sixth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Vazquez scored only two minutes after Royer had tied the game on a penalty kick.

Morrow staked Toronto to a 2-0 lead in the first 37 minutes, but the Red Bulls closed the deficit late in the first half and rallied for a tie before Vazquez's heroics.

Elsewhere, the Columbus Crew SC clinched a spot in the playoffs after a year absence with a 2-0 victory over visiting DC United.

Josh Williams and Justin Meram scored and rookie Zack Steffen made two saves for Crew SC (15-12-5), who are 5-0-3 in the past eight games. It was the regular season home finale for Columbus.



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