It's happened again.
Last season LA Galaxy II were on the verge of advancing in the USL playoffs vs. Sacramento before falling at the death, and again Los Dos suffered a similar fate, giving up a stoppage time equalizer before eventually succumbing to the Rochester Rhinos 2-1 in the USL Championship match at a drizzly Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester New York.
Despite the challenge of playing on rain-soaked turf in frigid temperatures, Los Dos bossed the first half, though the team had nothing to show for it. Arguably the best chance came when Rhinos goalkeeper Brandon Miller did brilliantly to re-direct a smash in the box following a Brian Olivera free kick.
The second half was more of the same as Los Dos dominated the match, albeit without creating many clear-cut chances. Considering Rochester were playing at home in front of a large crowd, the Rhinos were strangely timid, unable to threaten the Galaxy II goal throughout the 90 minutes.
After Raul Mendiola was forced to exit the game early in the half after suffering from an unknown sickness at halftime, you might wonder where the goal was going to come from, inevitable as it might have felt.
However, in the 65th minute Ariel Lassiter put his stamp on the match, first by winning a free kick outside the area then putting away a Diallo header that crashed off the crossbar to score his 4th goal of the post-season.
Right when you thought the game might reach a sleepy conclusion, the Rhinos equalized in stoppage time. On a corner kick, Asani Samuels out jumped goalkeeper Clement Diop to bring the crowd to pandemonium and send the game to extra time.
With Ariel Lassiter, Brian Olivera and Raul Mendiola all subbed out of the game, Los Dos struggled to recreate their earlier form in attack. Rather it was the Rhinos who finally began to get into the match, setting up several quality half chances. Meanwhile, Rochester attacker Tony Wallace almost scored off a bicycle kick at the end of the first period of extra time, but the attempt was just wide.
After an inadvertent elbow to the back of the head, Diop was forced out of match, and backup keeper Josh Sneddon was thrust into the match without much of a warmup, putting even more pressure on Galaxy II.
The second half of stoppage time saw the Rhinos continue to apply pressure on the Los Dos defense, and in the 113rd minute of the match, Rochester went ahead on virtually the exact same play as the equalizer. Once again Mendoza played in a corner kick, and the 6'5" Samuels rose above everyone else to easily nod home the winner and complete the comeback.
After the goal, Los Dos tried but were unable to put anything together as the Rochester Rhinos jubilantly celebrated the final whistle in front of their home fans.