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Toronto extended its unbeaten streak in league play to 10 games (4-0-6), a run that dates back to early August.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Alejandro Pozuelo scored on an elegant free kick Sunday to give Toronto FC a 1-0 win over Columbus Crew SC and a home game in the first-round of the MLS playoffs.

Toronto (13-10-11) leapfrogged the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United on the final day of the regular season to finish fourth in the East through goal difference over D.C. United. TFC and D.C. United will meet at BMO Field on Oct. 19 or 20, with the winner facing conference-leading New York City FC in the Eastern semi-finals.

A moment of brilliance from Pozuelo in the 57th minute ended a scoreless deadlock after Jozy Altidore was taken down just outside the penalty box. The Spaniard coolly slotted the ball over the Columbus wall and into the corner of the goal for his 12th goal of the season.

On a negative note, Altidore exited gingerly in the 70th minute after a collision in the Columbus box before an announced crowd of 23,692.

In other MLS games on Sunday, the Montreal Impact beat the New York Redbulls 3-0 and the Vancouver Whitecaps lost 1-0 to Real Salt Lake.

Toronto came into Decision Day in sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, but able to finish anywhere from fourth to seventh. Jumping to fourth required a Toronto win and help from other quarters.

All the planets aligned with the Toronto win combined with the Red Bulls falling 3-0 in Montreal and D.C. United settling for a scoreless draw at home against nine-man Cincinnati.

Seven teams make the postseason in each conference. The top team in the conference (New York City FC in the East and Los Angeles FC in the West) has a first-round bye while No. 2 through No. 4 host playoff games against lower-ranked teams

While Toronto had more of the ball in the first half, Columbus (10-16-8) had better scoring chances early. Goalkeeper Quentin Westberg was called upon twice when long balls came in over the Toronto defence.

Westberg made the save in the eighth minute, only to have the play called back because of an offside. Westberg then stopped Gyasi Zardes in the 22nd minute.

Altidore seemed to have the better of former Toronto centre back Josh Williams and the burly TFC striker came close in the 32nd minute when Marky Delgado’s pass cut through Williams and the Columbus defence. But Altidore’s right-footed shot went just wide.

Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room made two marvellous back-to-back saves in the 36th minute after a Columbus clearance deflected to Altidore at the edge of the penalty box. A diving Room got a hand to Altidore’s shot and then got back up to somehow deny Michael Bradley, who seemingly had an open goal prior to Room’s acrobatics.

Westberg appeared to get a hand to Luis Diaz’s long-range rocket in the 64th minute, pushing the ball off the crossbar.

Substitute Patrick Mullins forced a diving save from Room in the 90th and hit the post in stoppage time.

Toronto extended its unbeaten streak in league play to 10 games (4-0-6), a run that dates back to early August. Columbus, which saw its five-game string snapped, had lost just once in its previous 12 league matches (5-1-6) since mid-July.