Now it was 2-1 Miami. With 12:46 to go, a Los Angeles player was fouled by the Toros' Selris Figaro. It was a foul that called for a direct kick, close in but not a penalty kick. A wall of Miami players lined up in front of Banhoffer, who was designated to take the kick. His chances were not good. Banhoffer flexed his kicking leg and let go. Hard. The ball had topspin on it and it humped over the Toro line and sailed into the goal. The game was tied again.
Nobody wanted to go into tiebreakers, especially Los Angeles. The Aztecs knew that Miami had already gone that route six times this year and had won six times.
There was 3:50 left to play when a Miami midfielder named Esteban Aranguiz put his head to leather and made it 3-2. Now it looked very bad for Los Angeles. But Tony Douglas had not given up. In Miami territory, he kicked the ball to McMillan. Toriani was coming out of the goal as McMillan kicked. The ball hit Toriani's outstretched fingers and bounced back on the field. Banhoffer saw it and kicked again, but a Miami defenseman blocked it back to McMillan once more. Toriani was still outside when McMillan poked the ball into the net. The game was tied and the stage was set for soccer's version of the theater of the absurd. Listen, it could have been worse. Had no one missed, they would be kicking still.