Victor Vazquez and Sebastian Giovinco scored to help Toronto FC beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Monday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
Giovinco drew a foul conceded by Felipe Martins just outside the box and then bent the free kick over a four-man wall to make it 2-1 in the 72nd minute.
The second of the two-game aggregate series is Sunday in Toronto.
Jeff Attinella posted his 10th career shutout in his first playoff game to help the Portland Timbers to a 0-0 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Monday in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal.
The second leg of the two-game aggregate series is Sunday in Portland. The fourth-seeded Dynamo had just one road win in the regular season.