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Rooney blast in 112th minute lifts Miami to semis 3-2 over D.C. United.

By Gary Davidson

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, August 9, 2000) -- Jim Rooney sensed a special moment was approaching. So he demanded to be part of it.

His Miami Fusion teammates were not about to tell their captain no.

Jim Rooney
Jim Rooney demanded the chance and the Miami Fusion captain then drilled a 35-yard golden goal to defeat D.C. United 3-2 in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
Off a set piece midway though a second and final sudden-death overtime period, Rooney cracked a 35-yard blast that caught the top right corner of the goal and propelled the Fusion into the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals with a 3-2 triumph over D.C. United before a sparse audience of 3,864 at RFK Stadium tonight.

Miami will play the MetroStars in the all-Major League Soccer semifinals at a date and site to be determined.

Rooney "needs a medal as big as a frying pan," said Miami coach Ray Hudson. "Jimmy is my captain. He was given the lickings of a dog a year ago. Heís an unfashionable player and I live him. His pay should be doubled."

In the 112th minute, Henry Gutierrez touched the direct kick from the center of the field a foot forward and Diego Serna teed it up. Rooney stepped up and launched his shot which glanced off the leg of United midfielder, redirecting slightly before finding net, well beyond the reach of goalkeeper Tom Presthus.

"When I got fouled, I just said to the boys, 'Listen, I got fouled, itís mine. I want this one.'" Rooney said. "Usually -- Henry was hurting a bit too -- when itís that far out, I hit a rolling ball. Itís usually mine from that far out. Henry played it. Diego stopped it just to get it a little past the wall and I hit. It was a deflection off Conveyís foot, but as soon as I hit it, it looked like it was going off, but the deflection what ever way it went, it had a spin and I donít think Presthus could have a chance on that one."

The foul came after Miami goalkeeper Nick Rimandoís long goal kick which gave the Fusion a numbers up advantage in the attacking zone. Defender Carey Talley took Rooney down from behind and was issued a yellow card.

"When I got grabbed, I saw Roy (Lassiter) was making a run," Rooney said. "I was deciding whether to slip it to Roy or take it myself. When I was fouled, I let the foul happen."

In the other lockerroom, Talley said, "I think he should have been fouled. They slid somebody through. From 35 yards out, the guy hits a once-in the lifetime shot that deflected off somebody and went in."

Later, Talley had second thoughts. "I shouldnít have fouled him," he said.

For D.C. United, it was another frustration from a painful season. Twice the defending MLS champion, which now sports the worst record in the league, rallied to tie on striker Jaime Moreno tallies after conceding bad goals.

This game pretty much sums up our season," United coach Thomas Rongen said. "We didnít play up to our potential and still had a chance to win. Coming up short is pretty much what weíve done often this year. We havenít had the resilience to win this type of game."

Miami took the lead in the fifth minute on an own goal. Tim Sahaydak found an open Gutierrez in the right side of the penalty area. Gutierrez carried at a sharp angle toward the near post and fired a shot from point-blank range that caromed off the frame and then Presthus. Defender Eddie Pope tried the clear the ball, but drilled it into his net.

In the 42nd minute, United tied the game at 1-1 on a sequence starting with midfielder Marco Etcheverryís left side corner kick. Defender Carlos Llamosa flicked the ball on with his head and it was gathered by forward Raul Diaz Arce, who touched the ball back to Moreno who nailed his shot from 16 yards.

The Fusion regained the lead from the restart, with Rooney threading a pass through to Serna who went in for an easy strike and a 2-1 lead.

In the 65th minute, Etcheverry sent a long cross into the box and the Fusionís Jay Heaps was called for elbowing forward A.J. wood to the ground. Moreno easily converted the ensuing penalty kick to even the count at 2-2.

Iím thrilled and absolutely elated. . . to beat D.C. United at their own game," Hudson said. "We pushed our fingers in their chest and the result tilted our way."

Miami Fusion (MLS) 3, D.C. United (MLS) 2

Lineups: - Tom Presthus, Carey Talley, Carlos Llamosa, Eddie Pope (Geoff Aunger 69), Eric Denton, Richie Williams, Ben Olsen (Chris Albright 104), Bobby Convey, Marco Etcheverry (Captain), Jaime Moreno, Raul Diaz Arce (A.J. Wood 46). Miami - Nick Rimando, Tim Sahaydak, Tyrone Marshall, Pablo Mastroeni (Welton 80), Jay Heaps, Jeff Bilyk, Jim Rooney (Captain), Henry Gutierrez, Brian Kamler, Diego Serna, Andy Williams (Roy Lassiter 73).

Miami - own goal (Pope) 5.
D.C. United - Moreno (Diaz Arce, Llamosa) 42.
Miami - Serna (Rooney, Williams) 43.
D.C. United - Moreno (penalty kick) 65.
Miami - Rooney (Serna) 112.

Total shots: D.C. United n/a, Miami n/a. Shots on goal: D.C. United n/a, Miami n/a. Saves: D.C. United n/a, Miami n/a. D.C. United n/a, Miami n/a. Offside: D.C. United n/a, Miami n/a. Corner kicks: D.C. United n/a, Miami n/a. Yellow card cautions: D.C. United - Williams 39, Convey 79, Talley 111; Miami - Williams 52, Rooney 65, Heaps 67. Possession percentage: D.C. United 51, Miami 49.

Referee: Sergio Vega, Misail Tsapos. Referee's assistants: Bill Dittmar, Jon Wilson (Thomas Perry). Attendance: at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Weather: n/a.

MetroStars 1, Columbus 1 (MetroStars advance 7-6 on penalty kicks)

Columbus, Ohio -- It took eight rounds of tie-breaking penalty kicks for the MetroStars to eliminate the Columbus Crew 7-6 after a 1-1 draw between the teams before 7,096 at Crew Stadium.

Both clubs made their first four penalty attempts, but Crew keeper Matt Napoleon and MetroStars keeper Tim Howard stopped the fifth attempt by each club. In the eighth round, Mike Petke scored for the Metros and the Crew's Mike Lapper shot wide right to give the MetroStars the victory in a game that lasted close to three hours.

"It was a good game played by both sides who really wanted to win," said Metros coach Octavio Zambrano. "The action was up and down the field all night. Lothar Matthaeus played very well in his return to our line up. Tim Howard, as he has done all year, was solid and made the big plays in regulation, overtime, and penalty kick period to keep us in the game."

Matthaeus started and played for the first time since a scoreless draw with San Jose June 28 at Giants Stadium.

Midfielder Tab Ramos began the Metros first scoring play in the 62nd minute on a give-and-go with Alex Comas in front of the penalty arc. The Colombian striker sent a through pass on the return to Ramos who beat Todd Yeagley inside the penalty area for the ball and then scored.

The Crew tied the game in the 74th minute on a header by Brian McBride off a corner kick by Robert Warzycha. The United States national-team striker leapt over the Metros defense to knock the ball past Howard into the right corner of the goal. The goal allowed by Howard was only his second in three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games this year.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Mauricio Cienfuegos and Seth George scored within a four-minute span late in the game to propel the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 decision over the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, before 4,345 at Titan Stadium on the campus of California State-Fullerton to advance to an August 23 semifinal meeting with Chicago Fire.

Cienfuegos continued his late season hot streak breaking open the game in the 77th minute, while Seth George ended San Jose's with a strike of his own four minutes later.

Goalkeeper Matt Reis needed two saves for his second straight U.S. Open Cup shutout. Both snuffed out breakaway chances by striker Abdul Thompson Conteh.

In the 77th minute, Peter Vagenas lobbed a ball over the top of the defense for Cienfuegos. Outrunning the Earthquake defense, Cienfuegos beat goalkeeper Joe Cannon to the ball, lofting the shot into the back of the net barely beating retreating defender Jim Conrad.

In the 81st minute, Sasha Victorine played a give-and-go with George who out muscled San Jose defender John Doyle and hit a low shot into the left corner of the goal just pass Cannon.

Chicago Fire 5, Dallas Burn 1

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Josh Wolff had four goals and an assist, including two tallies in the first nine minutes to stoke the Chicago Fire to a 5-1 romp over the Dallas Burn before a standing room only crowd of 7,096 at Cardinal Stadium.

"We played with a lot of confidence today," Wolff said. "I think we established a style of play that was successful for us. Right from the start we were able put that kind of effort out and we got an early goal, which was very important because it forced their team to come out. And when teams are forced to come out against us, I don't think they're going to stay with us for 90 minutes. Tonight we were able to finish them off. "

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