TFC defeats Cincinnati to notch 5th-straight win and clinch playoff spot

League-leading Toronto FC notched its fifth straight win and became the first team to clinch an MLS playoff berth this season with a 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on Sunday thanks to a first-half goal by Patrick Mullins.

Toronto had to survive a 96th-minute penalty call by Robert Sibiga, who judged Omar Gonzalez had pushed substitute Allan Cruz to the ground as a cross came into the Toronto penalty box. Sibiga pointed to the penalty spot but changed the call after video review.

Seconds later, Toronto defender Laurent Ciman almost sent a back pass into his own goal.

They were rare moments of excitement in a game that was short on goal-scoring chances but still produced another three points for TFC.

Toronto (11-2-4) is undefeated in seven games (6-0-1), a run that also includes victories over Montreal, New York City FC, Columbus Crew SC, the Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution.

TFC has lost just two of 27 regular-season games (15-2-10) since a 2-0 defeat at the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 3, 2019.

Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono undergoes surgery to repair

Toronto FC backup goalkeeper Alex Bono will be out two to three weeks after dislocating a finger.

The MLS club said Bono underwent surgery after injuring the little finger on his right hand in training Saturday. That leaves the side with starter Quentin Westberg and No. 3 keeper Kevin Silva.

Bono has posted shutouts in all three league appearances this season.

The 26-year-old from Syracuse, N.Y., was taken sixth overall by Toronto in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He became the starter in 2017 but lost the No. 1 position to Westberg last season.

He started in Toronto’s 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Wednesday, recording a club-record 29th clean sheet and his 52nd career win. It was his 100th career start in all competitions.