Unfreakin’ believable! This was the best soccer game I’ve ever seen in my entire life! I went to the game depressed, knowing we would likely lose and not advance in the playoffs after our 2-0 loss last week in L.A. We haven’t been playing well and things looked grim. To advance, we’d have to win 3-0… which would be 3-2 on aggregate (total) goals. We’ve only scored a couple goals in our last five games or so, so that seemed to be a tough challenge. To top it off, the rain came on the weekend and it seemed we’d have to play in the rain. Would that cramp fan attendance?
The answer was no. Spartan Stadium was packed and the crowd in excellent voice. Fortunately, it didn’t even rain until after the final whistle. Earthquakes’ coach Frank Yallop changed the line-up significantly, which was good. But the Quakes started off poorly, quickly giving up two goals in the first twenty minutes! The crowd was stunned. Now our 2 goal hole was a 4 goal hole! We’d have to score 5 goals to advance! But the players didn’t let it get them down. They began to fight, and by half-time we’d tied the game on goals by Goose (free kick) and Landon Donovan (well started by Jamil Walker). Early in the second half Walker gave the Quakes the lead and hope started brimming. Just one more goal would tie the aggregate — could we do it? As time began to run out, nerves began to rattle. Would this be another sad defeat? No! With minutes left, Chris Roner is brought into the game and score in the final minute! The game is tied and we go to sudden death overtime. There are a couple scary moments early in overtime where L.A. had a chance or two, but then the Quakes came back with more and more pressure. Then, in a dream scenario, Rodrigo Faria, a late addition to the Quakes who hasn’t scored all season, scores the Golden Goal and sends the Quakes to the final!
The most amazing game I’ve ever seen. Coming back from 4 down is just impossible. Yet the Quakes did it. Being in the stadium was amazing. When Chris scored the tying goal in the final minute, I literally could not even hear the announcer report the goal: the crowd was so loud it was deafening. That screaming went on at that intensity for several minutes. I totally think the crowd helped contribute to the team, lifting the players. After the game, everyone in the stadium (except the few Galaxy fans) were screaming and cheering. We just couldn’t stop screaming. It was so freakin’ unbelievable. What a game. I still feel like I’m dreaming. GO QUAKES! Final: 5-2 Earthquakes.