Toronto FC waited nine years for a taste of the Major League Soccer playoffs but on Thursday the Montreal Impact ensured they had little chance to savor it with a 3-0 win over their Canadian rivals.
In the day’s other playoff game, the Portland Timbers finally got the better of Sporting Kansas City after a penalty shootout that went to the goalkeepers in the 11th round
In Montreal, first-half goals from Patrice Bernier (18th minute), Ignacio Piatti (33) and Didier Drogba (39) saw Impact advance to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, where they will face Columbus Crew in the first leg on Sunday.
Montreal’s campaign has been bolstered by the arrival of former Chelsea striker Drogba, who has scored 12 goals in 12 games since joining the club in July.
He scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Toronto on Sunday that saw Impact finish the regular season in third.
In Portland, Rodney Wallace put the Timbers ahead in the 57th minute but Kevin Ellis sent the game to extra time with the equalizer three minutes from the time.
The visitors went ahead in the 96th minute through Krisztian Nemeth but got Portland back on level terms through Maximiliano Urruti two minutes before the end of extra time.
A marathon shootout came down to the goalkeepers and after Portland’s Adam Kwarasey converted his kick, Kansas City’s Jon Kempin could not match him, leaving the Timbers to face Vancouver in the Western Conference semi-finals.