Craig Allen, Chris Chueden and Ali Kazemaini each scored a pair of goals Wednesday night as the Cleveland Force routed the Lazers, 8-3, in front of an announced crowd of 3,775 at the Forum.
Judging by the number of empty seats, many of those fans must have left before the game began. That might not have been a bad idea.
The Lazers turned in one of their most inept performances of the Major Indoor Soccer League season. Unlike the Force, who appeared to know what they were doing at both ends of the field, the Lazers seemed to be in disarray.
Worse yet, they looked apathetic. Their attack was tentative, their defense nonexistent. Cleveland's final goal by Andy Chapman, for example, came after the Force took six straight shots at Lazer goalie Mike Mahoney without a single defensive player touching the ball.
In addition to his two goals, Allen had three assists for the Force, who also got strong performances from goalie Chris Vaccaro and defender Bernie James.
The Lazers, whose 11-23 record is the worst in the league, got goals from Gregg Willin, George Fernandez and Poli Garcia, but they were of little consequence in the lopsided game.
After scoring first, the Lazers allowed the Force (21-15) to score six straight without reply.
It was all over in the first half, which ended with Cleveland ahead, 3-1.
A give-and-go series of passes between Batata and Willin ended with Willin beating Force goalie Vaccaro with a shot from the left flank 2:59 into the game.
Cleveland tied it, 1-1, on Chueden's first goal 10:06 into the first period. Left temporarily unguarded by the Lazers' so-called defense, Chueden took a pass from Andy Chapman and fired the ball past Mahoney.
Two goals within a span of 1:16 early in the second period ended the Lazers' hopes.
The first came 4:23 into the quarter when a shot by Allen, who played outdoors for Lazer Coach Peter Wall with the California Surf, was deflected past Mahoney by a Lazer defender.
Then 5:39 into the period, Chueden made it 3-1 when he faked Mahoney after taking a pass from Kai Haaskivi.
The Lazers never recovered.
Carl Valentine made it 4-1 just 1:37 into the second half, and it was 6-1 before Fernandez and Garcia gave Lazer fans a reason to cheer.