Bitter loss puts Socks in second Sidekicks prevail in OT to take the league lead
San Diego Union-Tribune - Saturday, August 28, 1993, by HANK WESCH, Staff Writer
In one anteroom last night, Ron Newman raged against various injustices.
In the main locker room, the Sockers yelled criticisms at one another.
It wasn't hard to tell which team had won what Newman had billed the "mother of all battles" for first place in the Continental Indoor Soccer League.
It was Dallas, 9-8, in overtime before 7,774 at the Sports Arena, the second-largest crowd of the season.
The Sidekicks (19-4) ended it 40 seconds into overtime, when John Hedlund converted on a pass from Tatu. Hedlund, who only has four goals this season, swiped at the pass and almost missed as it came across the box and arrived to the right of Sockers goalie Bryan Finnerty.
The ball stayed near Hedlund's feet, however, and he was able to chip it in and drop the Sockers (18-5) out of first place for the first time since June 27.
"We deserved that one tonight," said Newman, whose team blew a three-goal lead in the second half.
"We had so many good chances, and we hit the woodwork (top and sides of the goal). And Dallas got every bounce they needed. I think we dominated most of the game."
But Dallas won, and will take the advantage into the final five games of the regular season.
Hedlund's goal was set up when Sockers defender David Banks was called for a foul on Tatu.
"Why they have to call a foul every time he (Tatu) falls down is beyond me," Newman said. "It's a one-man show (Tatu) out there, and if you can't stop him ... "
The Dallas star, who had just one goal but four assists, said he thought the call was correct.
"If the official calls it, then it's right," Tatu said. "It's an important game. It was a good, honest game, and we were lucky to win."
Dallas scored with 1:01 left to force overtime. A shot by Tatu deflected off the back of the Sidekicks' Beto and into the net.
Trailing, 8-7, the Sidekicks had gone to a sixth-attacker lineup with 3:36 remaining. The Sockers had turned back several rushes and narrowly missed a clinching goal once, before Dallas tied it.
"A lucky goal," Tatu said. "I was just shooting at the target, and it went in off Beto.
"We lost a championship game here once when (Branko) Segota made a goal from there, so we'll take it this time."
The Sockers scored four times in the final 6:47 of the second quarter to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 halftime lead.
Keder, Thompson Usiyan, Kevin Koetters and Brian Negrete scored as the Sockers outshot Dallas in the period, 15-7.
Usiyan's go-ahead (5-4) goal was a combination of fortune and skill. Dallas goalie Joe Papaleo, who had roamed out near midfield to police a loose ball, hit referee George Hall with his clearing attempt.
The ball bounced to Usiyan, who lined an 85-foot shot over the head of a rapidly retreating Papaleo and into the net.
The goal extended Usiyan's regular-season scoring streak to 33 games, nine short of the team record established by Juli Veee from 1980-82.
Apparently inspired by Usiyan's goal, the Sockers put intense pressure on Papaleo and were rewarded a minute later when Koetters volleyed home a pass from Bobby Harmon.
They struck again with 1:44 left in the half, when Negrete made a run from the red line to a bouncing rebound of a Harmon shot and hammered it home.
Dallas chipped away in the second half, scoring twice in the third quarter while shutting out the Sockers to get back within one.
An excellent San Diego chance went awry when Waad Hirmez's shot hit both sides of the goal before bouncing out.
Negrete had two goals, an assist and six blocks, a team high for the season.
But Dallas won.