What is it about the Whitecaps and spectacular goals to salvage games that end 2-2? Saturday's stunning howitzer from Uruguayan marksman Sebastien Fernandez will go down as one of the great finishes in the Caps short MLS era.
A monstrous tackle from Steven Beitashour kept the game alive, when it seemed referee Kevin Stott was ready to blow for time. And like a basketball player whose internal shot clock was down to 0.5, Fernandez took a quick look up before unleashing a 35-yard rocket that even Nick Rimando couldn't stop. The scenes at Rio Tinto stadium were as contrasting as you'll ever see in a regular season game; the Whitecaps and their staff leaping and hollering like 12-year-old kids who've won an imaginary World Cup, while a devastated Real Salt Lake team lay strewn about the pitch in disbelief.
It's not the first time a stunning strike has rescued a point for the Whitecaps in a 2-2 game. They did it a week ago against LA, when it was Kekuta Manneh who bombed home a cracking equalizer in the 86th minute.
Late last year, in a wild affair with Portland, Camilo Sanvezzo sideways scissored a goal of the year winner, only seconds after the Whitecaps had fallen behind. And in June of 2011, Eric Hassli should have earned goal of the year honours for his late, sensational volley that dropped into the top corner past Kasey Keller, only moments after the Whitecaps had fallen behind in Seattle. Four point-earning goals with aesthetic beauty, individual brilliance, against Western rvals, all while the Whitecaps were trailing.
But there was something extra special about the rally at Real. It was executed by kids. The midfield and forward six combined to average 22.6 years of age. The RSL team that tried to hang on averaged 29.45 years, among them captain Kyle Beckerman, who sarcastically sneered a 'good luck making the playoffs' in Darren Mattocks direction.
As Carl Robinson continues to shape his squad and older players move on, you just wonder how the young Whitecaps will look when they learn how to start games the same way they've been finishing them. In the meantime, another 2-2 scoreline, which seemed improbable until the 86th minute will be savoured by a Whitecap fan base that has already been spoiled by late-game dramatics.