(Reuters) - Canadian striker Cyle Larin scored twice and Orlando City SC retained a slim playoff hope with a 2-1 home win over New York City FC on Friday.
Larin, the most prolific rookie goalscorer in Major League Soccer history, notched his 16th and 17th goals of the season as Orlando came from behind after trailing 1-0 at half-time.
However, the three points might prove merely a stay of execution in their quest to finish among the top six in the Eastern Conference and qualify for the postseason.
Orlando improved to 44 points with one regular season game left, one point behind sixth-placed Montreal Impact, who have two games remaining.
New York City scored on the stroke of half-time in a rare attacking foray when defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe fired home with his left foot for his first goal in seven seasons.
But 20-year-old Larin came to Orlando’s rescue in front of more than 43,000 fans when he equalized with a well-placed header into the far corner from an inch-perfect cross by Corey Ashe in the 62nd minute.
Larin scored the match winner eight minutes later with a simple tap-in after New York City were caught on the break.
In the Western Conference, the San Jose Earthquakes gave their playoff chances a mighty boost with a 1-0 home win over Sporting Kansas City.
Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy scored the only goal in the 47th minute when he found the net from close range.
The result lifted the Earthquakes from seventh to sixth, ahead of Portland on goal difference but behind Seattle. All three teams have 47 points, though Portland and Seattle have a game in hand.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina