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2015 USA Major League Soccer, Knockout - Eastern Conf
  • Patrice Bernier (18')
  • Ignacio Piatti (33')
  • Didier Drogba (39')

Drogba scores as Montreal Impact crush Toronto FC, advance to semis

The Montreal Impact crushed Toronto FC 3-0 to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

Surprisingly, it was Toronto who nearly opened the scoring, but Michael Bradley's redirected header from close range went straight into Impact keeper Evan Bush's hands.

Patrice Bernier broke the deadlock in the 19th minute, however, when, on a counterattack, he received a perfectly-weighted through-ball from Ignacio Piatti before slotting under a helpless Chris Konopka in the Toronto goal.

Piatti doubled the Montreal advantage in the 33rd, pouncing on a defensive error outside of the Toronto box before curling his shot into Konopka's far post.

Didier Drogba then got in on the act six minutes later when he slotted home a Bernier cross from eight yards out to cap a near-perfect first half and seal the comfortable win for the home side.

Montreal will face the Columbus Crew in a two-game, aggregate-goals series. Game 1 is Sunday in Montreal, and Game 2 is Nov. 8 in Columbus.

Montreal earned home-field advantage for the knockout-round game with a 2-1 victory over Toronto on Sunday at Saputo Stadium. The Impact finished third in the conference, and Toronto dropped to sixth.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.