It was a night of firsts.
In a stunning upset of a team considered one of the favorites to win the World Cup, the United States defeated Colombia, 2-1, before an enthusiastic crowd of 93,194 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. It was the first U.S. win in a World Cup game since 1950.
Star center Hakeem Olajuwon, who scored 25 points in the 90-84 victory, led the Rockets. The win gave Houston the best-of-seven-game series, four games to three.
For American soccer fans, long starved for success in the international arena, the victory last night marked the end of a lengthy drought.
"It's like a miracle," said Walter Burstein of Ventura, Calif. "We don't even have a professional league in this country, and we've beaten one of the best teams in the world."
As he accepted the NBA championship trophy, Rockets Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said, "Houston, you've wanted it for so long. You've finally got it."