Toronto FC advances to MLS Eastern final after testy showdown

A little bit about soccer and a lot about nonsense.

That’s how Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney summed up Sunday afternoon, as the Reds advanced to Major League Soccer’s two-game Eastern Conference final for a second straight year despite losing 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls in the second leg of their semifinal. The Reds won the opener 2-1 on the road and advanced on the away-goals tiebreaker.

There were other, more significant losses, however.

Strikers Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco won’t be eligible for the first game against the Columbus Crew on Nov. 21 after tempers flared at BMO Field on Sunday.

Altidore earned a straight red card after an altercation at halftime with Red Bulls midfielder Sasha Kljestan, following a confrontation on the field, while Giovinco picked up his second yellow card of the semifinal for arguing with referee Chris Penso.

Giovinco had Toronto’s best scoring chance of the game, using the outside of his boot to put a shot inches wide of New York goalkeeper Luis Robles’ net, whle TFC ’keeper Alex Bono came up with a late kick save to deny striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and save the Reds’ bacon.

The emotional outbursts between the whistles, though, were what everyone was talking about afterwards.

“We’ve got to keep our cool and stay focused on the task at hand,” TFC coach Greg Vanney said. “We didn’t. Did we deserve a red card in the tunnel? I’m not so sure. Above and beyond that, on our side, we need to control ourselves.”