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Altidore brace lifts Toronto into MLS playoffs

19 September 2016, 19:52

Los Angeles - New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips grabbed a slice of Major League Soccer history Sunday but it was Jozy Altidore and Toronto FC headed to the playoffs after a 3-3 draw.

Wright-Phillips scored twice and became the first player in MLS history with two seasons scoring 20 or more goals.

But Altidore scored twice in the second half, including a textbook free kick, as Eastern Conference leaders Toronto clawed to the draw and became the first team to book a playoff berth.

The Red Bulls were 2-0 up through 31 minutes after an own-goal from Steven Beitashour -- who was sliding to break up a Red Bulls cross -- and Wright-Phillips' first of the day.

Toronto pulled one back through Michael Bradley in the 41st.

Also read: Altidore scores twice, US advances with 4-0 win over T&T

Wright-Phillips restored New York's two-goal lead three minutes into the second half when he finished off a through-ball from Sacha Kljestan.

But 20 minutes later, Altidore curled a free kick past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Toronto were again without leading scorer Sebastian Giovinco, still nursing quadriceps and adductor strains.

But by picking up one point, they maintained the Eastern Conference lead with 47 points, two ahead of the Red Bulls and their cross-town rivals New York City FC.

In the Western Conference, MLS all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan notched his first goal since coming out of retirement to rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy in the stretch run to the playoffs.

The 34-year-old, greeted in Kansas City by chants mocking his age, came on in the 74th minute and showed just what an "old guy" can do.

Taking a pass from Robbie Rogers, Donovan fired a shot through traffic and inside the far post to salvage a 2-2 draw.

After a stare for the chanting fans, Donovan put his hands to his ears then ran to celebrate with teammates.

"I think they probably realized I might have a little time left in me, this old guy," Donovan said later.

The Galaxy remain in striking distance of Western leaders FC Dallas, four points off the pace with four matches remaining for each.

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