Sebastian Giovinco delivered Toronto FC its first ever MLS playoff berth on Wednesday night, and he did it with some serious style.
With Toronto leading the Red Bulls 1–0, the Italian forward entered as a substitute in the 71st minute for Herculez Gomez. Late in the 78th, Giovinco took the ball on the left side of the field and proceeded to charge through New York’s defense, finishing the play by ripping a shot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles from the right side of the box to set off a celebration by the home crowd.
Toronto needed just a tie in order to clinch the first postseason appearance in its nine-year history, so Giovinco’s goal essentially clinched it.
The play was impressive enough on its own merits, but it’s even more so considering that Giovinco played in a Euro qualifier for Italy against Norway on Tuesday and was still in Rome as of Wednesday morning.
Giovinco, who’s likely to be named MLS MVP at the end of the year, now has 22 goals on the season.
Toronto went on to win the game 2–1 and now has 49 points on the season, five behind the first-place Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference.