Toronto dents Impact's playoff hopes with 1-0 win
TORONTO (AP) - The Montreal Impact's playoff hopes hang in the balance after falling to a 1-0 defeat Saturday to lowly Toronto FC in the final round of the MLS regular season.
Robert Earshaw scored his eighth goal of the season in the 16th minute for Toronto, forcing the Impact to await the outcome of games Sunday to see if they make the MLS playoffs.
Montreal will be out if Houston beats D.C. United, New England defeats Columbus and Chicago beats or ties New York.
After a sluggish start by both teams, Toronto began to take control and at times looked dominant as Montreal showed little sense of urgency, not managing a shot during a first half in which the BMO Field pitch seemed tilted toward the Impact goal.
Montreal made changes in the second half and finally began to test the Toronto defense. A 62nd-minute goal by Marco Di Vaio was called off due to apparent handball. Andrew Wenger shot wide from in front of the net in the 72nd minute and Toronto goalie Joe Bendik robbed Andres Romero in the 88th minute.
The Impact have faltered down the stretch. Before last weekend's 2-1 win over visiting Philadelphia, Montreal went winless in six league games during which it collected one point out of a possible 18.
With just Toronto, D.C. United and the Columbus Crew eliminated from playoff contention, and New York and Sporting Kansas City already in, it made for a complicated final weekend in the East with Montreal, Chicago, New England, Houston and Philadelphia vying for the final three playoff berths.
At Chester, Pennsylvania, Lawrence Olum scored in stoppage time to give Sporting Kansas City a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union to end the home side's slim playoffs chance.
Graham Zusi opened the scoring for Kansas City, which will claim the Supporters Shield for the best record in the MLS if New York loses or draws Sunday against Chicago.
Jack McInerney scored his 12th goal of the season to draw Philadelphia level in the 88th minute.
In another match Saturday, Chris Wondolowski and Walter Martinez each scored and the San Jose Earthquakes beat FC Dallas 2-1 and the Portland Timbers cruised to a 5-0 victory over Chivas USA.