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MLS playoffs: Sounders advance to West finals; Impact to play Toronto FC for East title

MLS playoffs: Sounders advance to West finals; Impact to play Toronto FC for East title
Sounders defender Zach Scott celebrates with fans after the club advanced to the Western Conference finals on Sunday. (Jeffrey McWhorter / Associated Press)

The Seattle Sounders advanced to the Western Conference finals on Sunday night, winning the two-leg series 4-2 after falling 2-1 in the second game.

Seattle will host the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, Nov. 20 in Game 1 of the conference finals. Dallas, the Supporters Shield winner, was just the third team in MLS history to face a three-goal deficit after the first game in a two-leg series — and no team has come back.

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Seattle sat back in the defensive end for much of the first half but gave up a goal in the 25th minute. Dallas defender Atiba Harris hooked a cross into the area and Tesho Akindele headed it off the crossbar for his third career playoff goal.

Seattle got a much needed away goal in the 54th minute from midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro to tie it a 1. Tyrone Mears stole it from Walker Zimmerman deep in Dallas territory and played it across goal for a sliding Lodeiro.

Two minutes later, Maximiliano Urruti gave Dallas a 2-1 lead but it still needed three more goals to move on.

Toronto FC to meet Impact in East final

Sebastian Giovinco had the fourth hat trick in MLS playoff history and Toronto FC routed New York City FC, 5-0, 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 two-game conference finals, with Game 1 set for Montreal on Nov. 22. They are the first Canadian teams in league history to reach the conference finals.

In the other East semifinal series, Ignacio Piatti scored his second goal of the game in the 85th minute and Montreal beat New York, 2-1, to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time on a 3-1 aggregate score.

Piatti opened the scoring in the 51st minute, powering a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Eight minutes after New York tied it, Piatti iced it with his right foot. Dominic Oduro raced down the left sideline on a breakaway and waited for help. Didier Drogba trailed up the middle, drew two defenders and found an open Piatti for a close-range shot.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, who won his second MLS Golden Boot in the last three seasons with 24 regular-season goals, scored on a deflected shot in the 78th minute.

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