OT header by Dayak puts San Jose in MLS Cup final
Updated: Sunday October 21, 2001 1:48 PM
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Troy Dayak couldn't have found a better opportunity to score his first goal of the playoffs.
The San Jose defender broke through Miami's backline and headed in a shot in the 94th minute to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 victory against the Fusion on Wednesday night and advanced them to their first MLS Cup.
The Earthquakes advanced to Sunday's championship game in Columbus, Ohio, against the Los Angeles Galaxy, who beat the Chicago Fire in the other semifinal series.
Miami won the opening game of the semifinal series, but San Jose evened it with a 4-0 victory Sunday. The second win gave them six points in the first-to-five points format.
"If my year ended today, I'd take it," Dayak said. "This has been a Cinderella season for the team but a miracle season for me."
A member of the Earthquakes since the team's inaugural season in 1996, Dayak missed the last two seasons with a serious neck injury.
He headed in a loose ball past Fusion goalkeeper Nick Rimando after Richard Mulrooney's corner kick caromed off Fusion defender Carlos Llamosa.
"Just before the goal Dwayne told me, 'You're going to be the man,'" Dayak said, referring to teammate Dwayne DeRosario. "You can't imagine how thrilled I am right now."
Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said: "This team has been beaten down so many times. Winning tonight proves how special these players are. They understood the difficulty of defeating a very good team on their home field but responded with tremendous effort."
A target of the Fusion defense for the entire match, Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan was just as comfortable in celebrating Dayak's game-winner than if he had scored it.
"We didn't leave anything out there," Donovan said. "Both teams wanted it so much but we pushed harder. This is the happiest day of my life."
The Earthquakes dominated play for most of the match but couldn't get a shot past Rimando.
Miami played a man down after the ejection of midfielder Ian Bishop in the 82nd minute and couldn't mount a serious scoring threat for most of the second half.
A header by Llamosa was deflected by goalkeeper Joe Cannon in the 55th minute.
In the first half, Miami had its best scoring threat in the 15th minute, when Chris Henderson's 30-yard shot was stopped with a diving deflection by Cannon.
San Jose began to control the ball in the final 20 minutes of the first half as the Fusion cleared balls away from the box. Rimando denied the Earthquakes' best scoring opportunity with a diving save off Richard Mulrooney's indirect free kick from 20 yards.
"I'm very proud of my boys, it just wasn't in the stars," Miami coach Ray Hudson said.
Scoring: SJ - Dayak (Mulrooney) 94
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES--Joe Cannon, Wade Barrett, Troy Dayak, Jeff Agoos, Jimmy Conrad, Ian Russell (Scott Bower 75), Richard Mulrooney, Ronnie Ekelund, Manny Lagos (Ramiro Corrales 56), Ronald Cerritos (Dwayne DeRosario 75), Landon Donovan
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (five players with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (four players with 1); FOULS: 16 (Cerritos 3, Lagos 3); OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: Cannon 5; CAUTIONS: Conrad 26, Corrales 90; EJECTIONS: none; POSSESSION PERCENTAGE: 52%
MIAMI FUSION--Nick Rimando, Brian Dunseth, Carlos Llamosa, Pablo Mastroeni, Lazo Alavanja, Ian Bishop, Jim Rooney, Chris Henderson (Ian Woan 46), Alex Pineda Chacon (Johnny Torres 78), Diego Serna, Preki
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Preki 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (five players with 1); FOULS: 12 (Serna 4); OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: Rimando 4; CAUTIONS: Bishop 29, Rooney 92; EJECTIONS: Bishop 82; POSSESSION PERCENTAGE: 48%
Referee: Kevin Terry; Referee's Assistants: Robert Fereday, Steve Taylor
Attendance: 11,242; Weather: Breezy, 78 Degrees, Overcast