RICHFIELD, Ohio — The Sockers' Steve Zungul, who can be a magician with a soccer ball, says he used no tricks when he kicked the game-clinching goal as the West beat the East, 11-7, in Sunday's sixth Major Indoor Soccer League All-Star Game.
The goal, with four minutes remaining, came after Baltimore's Stan Stamenkovic had pulled the East within 8-7 on his third goal of the second half.
"I got out ahead of everybody and knew what I was going to do," Zungul said. "I just didn't give him (East goalkeeper Scott Manning) a chance to react. I didn't fake or anything. I just took the shot, and I think that surprised him."
Zungul, the MISL's leading career scorer, had three goals on Sunday, including two in the final four minutes. He and San Diego teammate Branko Segota each scored in the last minute.
"Whatever we did, we did perfectly," Zungul said.
Stamenkovic, who also had two assists, was named the game's Most Valuable Player for the third straight year despite the East loss.
"In these games, everybody plays for the fans," he said. "There were 18 goals, so everybody is happy."
The victory was the fifth for the West, which got two goals each from Erik Rasmussen of Wichita, Tatu of Dallas and Juli Veee of Las Vegas.
The West led, 5-4, at halftime, but Stamenkovic's first goal tied it at 5-5 early in the third period. The game was tied again at 6-6 following goals by Batata of Los Angeles and Stamenkovic, but Tatu put the West ahead for good with a power-play goal 11:49 into the third period.
Stamenkovic's third goal, with 6:54 to play, pulled the East to within 8-7, but Zungul took a pass from and scored on the breakaway to put the West ahead 9-7 with four minutes left.
Baltimore's Paul Kitson, who was a replacement for Chicago's injured Gerry Gray, scored three times in the first period as the East built a quick 3-1 lead.
But Rasmussen started a string of five West goals in 10 minutes when he got his team's first goal with 3:50 to go in the first period.
The explosion, capped by Rasmussen's second goal, left the West with a 5-3 lead until Keith Furphy of the host Cleveland Force left-footed a power-play goal into the right corner of the net with 3:46 to play in the first half to pull the East to within 5-4.
The crowd of 17,863 was the largest ever for the game.