Giovinco scores again as Toronto beat Philadelphia

Sun Oct 4, 2015 1:25am EDT
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(Reuters) - Sebastian Giovinco celebrated his call-up to the Italian national squad by scoring his 21st goal of the Major League Soccer season as Toronto FC beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1 on Saturday.

The result moved Toronto closer to a playoff berth and officially eliminated the Union from contention.

In wet and windy conditions in Toronto, Giovinco put the home side ahead from a free kick in the 28th minute, though there was a large element of luck as the ball struck a defender's head and took a wicked deflection into the net.

Giovinco has impressed enough for Toronto this season to earn selection in the Italian squad for European Championship qualifiers against Azerbaijan next Saturday and Norway on Oct. 13.

Jozy Altidore added a typical poacher's goal in the 63rd minute to put Toronto 2-0 up, before Philadelphia pegged one back through a header by Toronto native Steven Vitoria.

An own goal in the 91st minute sealed the Union's fate.

Toronto remain fifth in the Eastern Conference, on 46 points with three regular season games left. The top six teams in each conference qualify for the postseason.

Seventh-placed Orlando City (41 points) kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 home win over sixth-placed Montreal Impact (42 points).

English defender Seb Hines volleyed home the winner in the 80th minute and Orlando won despite losing two players early in the first half, after team mates Tommy Redding and Rafael Ramos clashed heads and had to be substituted.   Continued...

Oct 3, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) is tripped up agianst the Philadelphia Union at BMO Field. Toronto FC won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports