(Photo credit: Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
New York City FC scored early and never looked back in a 3-0 win against visiting Toronto FC on Sunday.
The victory moved New York (8-10-13, 37 points) into the ninth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of D.C. United.
Toronto (4-16-10, 22 points), which was officially eliminated from playoff contention, lost for the 11h time in its past 12 matches and remained winless in its past 19 road matches.
Andres Perea scored his first goal with New York to give the home side a 1-0 lead in the second minute. Santiago Rodriguez's kick from just outside the top right corner of the box reached Perea at the top of the 6-yard box for a header into the right side.
New York's Talles Magno sent a pass to Mounsef Bakrar at the edge of the six in the 26th minute but his shot missed the net. The play went to video review for a handball and New York was awarded a penalty when it was determined the ball hit the arm of Toronto defender Shane O'Neill. Bakrar took the penalty but was denied by goalkeeper Luke Gavran.
The visitors had their best chance of the half in the 38th minute when Federico Bernadeschi aimed a cross over to Deandre Kerr on the far side. Kerr's first attempt was blocked and the rebound went to Jonathan Osorio at the top of the box, but goalkeeper Matt Freese was there for the stop.
Rodriguez played setup man again to put New York ahead 2-0 in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time. The midfielder, on the left side of the box, got the ball through Toronto's Michael Bradley and Sigurd Rosted and over to the penalty area, where Andres Jasson turned and settled it before swinging his left foot for a strike.
Julian Fernandez scored his first MLS goal to extend it to 3-0 in the 54th minute, hustling down the right side before cutting into the middle at the top of the box and hooking the ball inside the left post on an assist from Talles Magno.
--Field Level Media