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MLS Review: Impact ease through, Portland need dramatic shoot-out to advance

Patrice Bernier, Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba scored to help the Montreal Impact record a 3-0 win over Toronto in the MLS play-offs on Thursday.

The Impact will meet Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, with Frank Klopas' side hosting the first leg at Saputo Stadium on Sunday.

Three goals in 20 first-half minutes did the damage in Quebec as Piatti found Bernier to open the scoring with a well-taken side-footed finish.

Piatti then got his name on the scoresheet after capitalising on Josh Williams' slip to compose himself and find the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Chelsea great Drogba sealed the win before the interval.

Bernier faked inside the area and picked out his strike partner eight yards out to fire into an unguarded net.

In the day's other knockout clash, the Portland Timbers advanced to the Western Conference semi-finals with a nail-biting 7-6 penalty shoot-out victory over Sporting Kansas City.

Substitute goalkeeper Jon Kempin missed the decisive spot-kick for Kansas after 22 penalties in total at Providence Park, where the teams drew 2-2.

Rodney Wallace opened the scoring for Portland in the first half, finishing off a scramble inside the area to tuck his shot into the corner and beyond Tim Melia.

With time running out in the first knockout round, Kansas netted a dramatic equaliser as Kevin Ellis rose highest to head in Graham Zusi's deep cross.

With the match extending into additional time, it took just six minutes for Krisztian Nemeth to find the back of the net.

The former Liverpool attacker produced a glimpse of individual quality inside the box to turn George Fochive and strike a powerful effort into the far corner from an acute angle.

But with just two minutes to play, the Timbers drew level through Argentine forward Maximiliano Urruti.

Collecting a throw-in from the right flank, Dairon Asprilla held off his marker before firing a cross into the box for Urruti to convert on the volley.

Kempin, brought on to replace Melia for a knock with six minutes to play in normal time, kept out three efforts from 12 yards but could not beat Adam Kwarasey as the Timbers advanced.