Photo by ISIPhotos.com
The San Jose Earthquakes weren't given much of a chance when they took the field against the New York Red Bulls on Thursday night, but they knew they could pull the upset if the executed their game plan. And the New York Red Bulls? They knew they could put away this Eastern Conference playoff series if they finished the chances they were bound to create.
Only the Earthquakes were able to accomplish their mission.
Led by an inspired performance by Bobby Convey, the Earthquakes scored three goals and held off a mis-firing Red Bulls squad to post a dramatic 3-1 victory and 3-2 series aggregate victory at Red Bull Arena.
The win moves the Earthquakes into the Eastern Conference final, where they will face either the Columbus Crew or the Colorado Rapids. The Crew hosts the Rapids on Saturday in game two of their series (Colorado posted a 1-0 win in the first leg).
Convey scored an early goal to erase the 1-0 lead New York carried from the first leg, and as the Red Bulls wasted countless opportunities, the Earthquakes eventually found chinks in the Red Bulls armor. Convey led the way, adding a second goal before setting up Chris Wondolowski for the series-clinching goal to erase a dramatic tally by Juan Pablo Angel, who scored in his final game as a Red Bull.
The Red Bulls had a chance to equalize late, but Thierry Henry missed a free header later after coming on as a late substitute.
Convey was the star of the show, providing a threat on the left wing, and playing impeccable defense after replacing injured fullback Ramiro Corrales at left back just before halftime. He added his second goal by turning Tim Ream in the penalty area and beating Bouna Coundoul from close range, then delivered the series-clinching assist in the final minutes.
What did you think of the result? Impressed with San Jose? Still can't believe New York lost? Think the Earthquakes can make a run to the MLS Cup Final?
Share your thoughts below.