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.
x – <a href=”https://twitter.com/TorontoFC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TorontoFC</a> <br><br>The first club to book a spot in the <a href=”https://twitter.com/Audi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Audi</a> 2020 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLSCupPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#MLSCupPlayoffs</a>. ☑️ <a href=”https://t.co/cSEWUAHhRk”>pic.twitter.com/cSEWUAHhRk</a>
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.