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Oct. 7, 2001 – U.S. clinches World Cup berth in Foxboro Stadium’s final soccer game

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Joe-Max Moore’s 81st-minute penalty kick gave the U.S. a 2-1 victory over Jamaica, the team becoming the 21st to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Moore re-directed a third-minute Claudio Reyna free kick past Aaron Lawrence, then Jamie Lawrence’s 14th-minute volley past Brad Friedel equalized. Landon Donovan earned a penalty after being taken down by Tyrone Marshall, the call made by Salvadoran referee Rodolfo Sibrian (who was enrolled in education courses at Boston College; Sibrian would referee the Revolution’s first appearance in the Champions Cup, red-carding Shalrie Joseph and Daniel Hernandez as the team was eliminated by LD Alajuelense), Moore converting. Reyna and Ajax’s John O’Brien, who grew up in Playa del Rey, Calif., son of a Bostonian father, set the tone in midfield.

The win vaulted the U.S. (16 points) ahead of Honduras and Mexico (both 14 points) into second place behind Costa Rica (20).

Excerpt from my Boston Globe story:

“As usual, a nationalistic atmosphere developed around the match, intensified by recent military [coach Bruce Arena said he informed the team pre-game that the U.S. had started a military action in Afghanistan] and political events. Before the match, both teams ringed the center circle, holding hands during a moment of silence. The best crowd response of the day started midway in the second half when the Sam’s Army support group behind the north goal began singing “All we are saying/Is give us a goal” to the tune of ‘All we are saying/Is give peace a chance.’

“Before the game, part of the 40,483 in attendance spread a U.S. flag across an entire section and displayed a sign reading: ‘America, you’ll never walk alone,’ borrowing a signature theme of Liverpool FC.”

Said Arena: “This kind of support made a difference. It was much different than the last game [a 3-2 loss to Honduras before a predominantly Honduran crowd at RFK Stadium Sept. 1].”

Also in the Globe, John Powers quoted Reyna: “Our national stadium, if we have one, should be Foxboro Stadium.”

Moore’s total of 27 goals (23 with the Revolution, four with the U.S.) was a Foxboro Stadium record, nearly double the total of the Revolution’s Imad Baba and New England Tea Men star Mike Flanagan, who had 14 goals. The U.S. had a 7W-0L-3D record (4-0-1 in World Cup qualifiers) at Foxboro Stadium, which would be demolished in February 2002.

Oct. 7, 2001 – U.S. 2:1 Jamaica, WCQ at Foxboro Stadium (Att.: 40,483)

Moore’s winner would be the last goal converted (the first was a sixth-minute score by Sporting’s Marinho in a 2-2 draw with Benfica on July 16, 1972) at Foxboro Stadium. This would be the seventh time the U.S. would be competing in the World Cup finals and the first time the team had clinched a berth in a home match.

From my Boston Globe stories:

“There soon will be little besides pavement to commemorate what is now a moribund $6 million cement and steel structure called Foxboro Stadium. It was suggested yesterday there should be at least a parking space named for Joe-Max Moore near the site of the south goal.”

Said Moore: “I love Boston and I love Foxboro Stadium. I have a great rapport with the fans and I’ve gotten to know some of them personally.” Chris Aduama photo

TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY

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