MLS NEXT Pro's Week 15 Game of the Week was destined to be a memorable one when two of the best in the Western Conference locked horns at PayPal Park, where the visiting Houston Dynamo 2 edged Earthquakes II in a shootout after a thrilling 1-1 tie in regulation.
Friday's contest was a nervy one that featured the best of both sides, and it took a long phase of them sizing each other up before the scoring started.
When it looked like the game was settled, Quakes II midfielder Will Richmond put on the cape and put in a stylish finish to secure his side a point and notch his second goal of the season.
Dynamo Dos striker Kyle Edwards was the one to break the deadlock in the 51st minute. The 25-year-old fought through traffic to open his MLS NEXT Pro account when he picked up a pass from Marcelo Palomino and made it look easy with his point-blank finish.
Houston Dynamo 2 will be left with some questions after having one called back.
In the 63rd minute, captain Jon-Talen Maples smashed in a header that was ruled offside. The call was costly and would have spared Dynamo 2 the rollercoaster shootout finish.
Dynamo Dos was the toast of the league coming out of the gate and ultimately walked away with the valuable extra point on Friday.
But, Quakes II are now riding a four-game unbeaten streak that has seen the Bay Area side crash into the Western Conference playoff picture and the circumstances have not been the easiest. Dan DeGeer has settled into the head coaching role after a carousel of personnel had to fill in for opening day coach Alex Covello's call-up to the first team earlier in the season.
Going toe-to-toe with one of the West's elite is just the latest example that the best could be yet to come for Quakes II.
Their next test is a big one, in the form of North Texas SC on July 10, and if Earthquakes II can find a way to extend their unbeaten run to five, it will make for another grenade in an already unpredictable Western Conference playoff picture.