Toronto FC kept its dwindling playoff hopes alive with an important 3-1 road victory over the New York Red Bulls Saturday night.
Chad Barrett scored two goals and Abdus Ibrahim added one another tally for Toronto (9-12-7).
Dane Richards scored the only goal as New York (9-10-7) dropped its third straight game and fourth in the team's last five games.
New York coach Juan Carlos Osorio wondered whether the pressure of trying to make the Major League Soccer playoffs is getting to his team. The Red Bulls now stand in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with three games to play, including two on the road.
"We're panicking too much," Osorio said after the Red Bulls lost their second straight home game against a sub-.500 team. It also was their third straight defeat and fourth in their last five matches.
"We're not playing up to our potential and waiting for someone to make big plays, which isn't happening. The pressure is too much for a lot of our players," Osorio said. "It was easy to play earlier in the year with no pressure, [but] now when every game is a must-win, we can't handle the pressure. We're all responsible for it."
Amazingly, Toronto is still mathematically in the playoff hunt even though it sits in last place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points.
Despite the win, Toronto has just four victories on the road since entering the league in 2007, and sports an anemic 3-10-7 record since the beginning of June.
Barrett opened the scoring in the 27th minute after intercepting a backward pass from Red Bulls defender Gabriel Cichero intended for goalie Jon Conway. Barrett sent a nifty chip over Conway for his eighth goal of the year.
Richards pulled New York even in the 49th minute, putting a header by Juan Pablo Angel behind Toronto goalie Greg Sutton.
But Barrett netted the winner in the 65th minute, taking a crossing pass from former Red Bull Marvell Wynne and slipping a shot by Conway.
Ibrahim then sealed the victory in the 87th minute.
Angel, the Red Bulls captain, is also frustrated by the team's performance.
"We're making mistakes now at the time when we need to make a push," Angel said. "It's the wrong time of the season to be playing like this. It's up to us to forget about these results. We have to get it back and find it within ourselves to play better, regardless of who we play. We have to change things real quick."
Toronto's next game is Oct. 11 in Texas against FC Dallas (CBC Bold, CBCSports.ca, 8:30 p.m.), before hosting its final home game of the season on Oct. 18 against the Chicago Fire (CBC, CBCSports.ca 3:30 p.m. ET).
Toronto closes out the regular season on Oct. 25 against the San Jose Earthquakes (CBC Bold, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET).