(Reuters) - Toronto FC paid a heavy price while advancing on Sunday to the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference final.
Star midfielder Sebastian Giovinco and striker Jozy Altidore will miss the first leg of the upcoming series after incurring the wrath of the referee during an spiteful game against the New York Red Bulls.
Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal gave the Red Bulls a 1-0 victory in Toronto in the second leg, but the 2-2 aggregate score over two games allowed top-seeded Toronto to advance on the away goal rule.
Altidore and New York’s Sacha Kljestan were shown straight red cards for violent conduct after an altercation in the tunnel at half-time as tempers flared.
Giovinco picked up a late yellow card, which means he will join Altidore on the sideline for the first game of the two-leg Eastern series against either Columbus Crew or New York City FC.
The Crew took a 4-1 lead over New York into the second leg of their series on Sunday.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Tokyo, editing by Gene Cherry