MLS Cup Playoffs: Montreal Impact 3-0 Toronto FC

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Montreal Impact are into the Eastern Conference semifinals, while Toronto FC’s first foray into the MLS Cup Playoffs were extremely short-lived — as in 90 minutes-short — following a resounding walloping, 3-0 by the Impact, Thursday night at Stade Saputo. Patrice Bernier, Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba (shocking, right?) provided the goals in the first-half barrage to send their Canadian rivals back to Toronto with something still to work toward in 2016: hosting a playoff game for the first time in club history. Meanwhile, the Impact (my pick to win the East crown) are set for a conference semifinal tussle with Columbus Crew SC, which begins Sunday. The Impact’s victory, coupled with that of D.C. United on Wednesday, means the no. 1-seed New York Red Bulls will face their Atlantic Cup rivals in the other conference semi.

[ MORE: MLS playoff predictions | Preseason predictions revisited ]

Three moments that mattered

18′ — Bernier slots past Konopka for 1-0 — Piatti is quietly one of the two or three best pure no. 10s in all of MLS, so it comes as no surprise to those that watched the Impact regularly over the last 18 months that he weighted this ball for Bernier perfectly.

https://twitter.com/MLS/status/659878796263161856

33′ — Piatti pounces on Kantari’s slip for 2-0 — Ahmed Kantari slips — which, you know, it happens sometimes — as the ball was played to him across the backline. Piatti, unlike most MLS attackers, was quick to pounce and punish the Moroccan’s mistake.

39′ — Drogba finshes Bernier’s cross for 3-0 — This is a truly incredible example of dreadful defending. Seven players, all inside the penalty area, all within 10 yards of one another. Meanwhile, that’s Drogba waltzing toward the back post with… well, no one around or even aware he’s there.

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Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Bernier (18′), Piatti (33′), Drogba (39′)