An early offensive explosion was just what host Toronto FC needed to pick up a key 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday at BMO Field.
Toronto (7-12-6, 27 points) scored all three of its goals before the first half-hour of play was complete, led by a brace from Sebastian Giovinco. In the seventh minute, Giovinco outpaced the defense to Justin Morrow's through ball into the middle of the box, chipping the ball into the right side of the net.
In the 22nd minute, Giovinco struck again, working a give-and-go with Jonathan Osorio on the left side of the net and beating Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush -- and four defenders -- for his second goal.
After Osorio added Toronto's third goal in the 29th minute, the Impact (10-14-3, 33 points) responded a minute later with a hard strike from Alejandro Silva on the right side of the box.
Silva's goal reinvigorated the Impact, who dominated the rest of the half. Silva delivered two more shots on goal, and the Impact twice more found the back of the net -- but both times the scores were erased by offside calls.
Toronto stabilized things in the second half, moving to a more defensive formation once Ashtone Morgan entered the game as a 62nd-minute substitute. The Impact's last real chance was a short-range header from forward Quincy Amarikwa in the 85th minute that was stopped by goalkeeper Alex Bono.
The victory keeps Toronto in the race for a postseason spot, as the team now sits six points behind sixth-place Montreal for the Eastern Conference's final playoff position.
Drew Moor made his first MLS start since March 30, as Toronto had been gradually easing the veteran defender back into action after he missed almost four months with a torn quad. Chris Mavinga missed the game due to a hamstring injury, while forward Jozy Altidore was serving a suspension.
Montreal is now just 2-10-2 away from home this season. The Impact have three more away dates in their remaining seven games, all against playoff contending teams (Philadelphia Union, D.C. United and the New England Revolution).