FRISCO, Texas - Joao Plata set up Danny Koevermans for a first-half goal and scored two of his own in the second half to help give Toronto FC a 3-0 win over FC Dallas on Tuesday and its first berth in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
TFC becomes the only the second Canadian squad to reach the knockout round, and first since the Montreal Impact accomplished the feat in the inaugural season three years ago.
Dallas, which had never lost to Toronto in five previous meetings at Pizza Hut Park and only once in 11 previous matches overall, was eliminated with the loss.
Plata was freed into the box and cut the ball back from the end line where Danny Koevermans flubbed his initial chance, but beat Kevin Hartman with his second opportunity from the edge of the six-yard box to give Toronto FC a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute.
Plata secured Toronto's place into the knockout stage with a 69th-minute goal. Plata initially played a backheel to Ryan Johnson, who took on a defender as he entered the 18-yard box. The Jamaican international played a square ball across to an open Plata, who settled and beat Hartman with a low shot from 12 meters.
Plata added a second goal in the 81st minute to complete the scoring, cutting inside two defenders along the edge of the 18-yard box and sending the ball past a diving Hartman inside the far post.
Koevermans opened the evening playing provider for Plata, who took his space and fired just wide of Hartman's left from the edge of the 18-yard box in the second minute.
In the 13th minute, Brek Shea latched onto Daniel Hernandez's free kick, but the midfielder mis-hit his strike and Toronto was able to clear.
In the 20th minute, Shea's cross was met by Andrew Jackson's header that was just wide of the mark.
Seven minutes later, Plata cut inside of his defender and unleashed a shot that landed in the outside netting.
After Plata set up Koevermans for his second Champions League goal, Dallas had a chance to equalize with a dangerous free kick in the 34th minute. However Hernandez put the attempt into the Toronto wall.
One minute from halftime, Ricardo also put a free kick into the TFC wall and his rebound deflected out for a corner.
Jackson again found himself in a dangerous situation in the 51st minute, cutting into the box, but his shot didn't bother Milos Kocic much.
Julian De Guzman threatened to double the visitor's lead, but his 55th-minute shot from the edge of the box was blocked and cleared by the Dallas defense.
In the 63rd minute, Jackson tried to beat Kocic with a first-time lob, but the ball was off the mark.
Jackson tried to pull FC Dallas to within a goal in the 73rd, but his open header off a Dallas corner was just over the bar.
The second Group C berth in the quarterfinals will be decided Wednesday when Pumas UNAM hosts Tauro. Pumas advances with a win or a draw, while Tauro would need a victory.