Toronto FC picked up its second win over the Chicago Fire in as many weeks, this time collecting a 3-0 result on Saturday at BMO Field in Toronto.
After a first half that was lacking in action, Toronto forward Jozy Altidore broke things open with a goal in the 52nd minute. Altidore made the definitive touch after a scramble in front of the Fire's net to score his third goal in five league games this season.
Toronto (22 points) struck again in the 72nd minute, with Sebastian Giovinco sliding to collect a long cross from Justin Morrow, then making a sliding one-footed touch from just outside the goalkeeper's box to an open Jonathan Osorio on the other side of the net.
Giovinco collected a goal of his own in the 89th minute, finally hitting the scoresheet after putting shots off the goalpost and crossbar earlier in the game.
The three-goal outburst was a good sign for a Toronto FC team that is fighting to stay in the playoff race and is finally recovering after an injury-riddled first four months of the season. Saturday's game marked the first time since its opening match on March 3 that top playmakers Altidore, Giovinco, Michael Bradley and Victor Vazquez were all in the starting lineup for a league game.
Chicago (23 points) played a defensively focused first half but couldn't muster an offensive response after Toronto's attack took over later in the game. The Fire have now lost five consecutive games, and they have just one win in their past eight MLS matches.
The two clubs also played last Saturday in Chicago, with Toronto FC collecting a 2-1 victory. Toronto FC has now won consecutive league games for the first time this season.
The rivalry between the two Eastern Conference rivals has been one-sided in recent years, as Toronto is now 8-0-1 in its past nine games against the Fire.