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Lazers Rally to Beat Sockers for First Victory of Season, 3-2

November 19, 1987|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

It's an unlikely result, but it has become a familiar script.

The lowly Lazers fall behind the powerful Sockers, catch up and win on a last-minute goal and cheer and scream all the way to the locker room.

Wednesday night at the Forum, the Lazers trailed, 2-0, at halftime but countered with three goals to win, 3-2, on Chris Chueden's 25-footer from the left side with 1:46 to play.

It was the Lazers' first victory of the season after three losses. And it was their fifth win in the last seven games against the Sockers, who are 1-2 this season.

"Who knows?," said Socker Coach Ron Newman, when asked about the Lazers' mastery over his team. "We change our preparation every time we play them and nothing seems to work. They are extremely eager and they go beyond to make things happen."

"This feels great," said former Socker Cha Cha Namdar, who signed with the Lazers in October. "I couldn't be any happier. I must admit they have much more talent, but hard work won it for us. We had to be patient. We couldn't open the game up by not being smart. Early on, we didn't get any breaks. As it went on it seemed like they were sitting on their lead."

That might have been one of the things Newman talked to his team about during his 15-minute post-game discussion. "It's a big disappointment that we didn't raise our game enough when it was 2-0," Newman said. "We didn't polish them off. Once they got the first goal, their game changed."

Chris Whyte's 35-footer from straightaway went right by goalkeeper Zoltan Toth to make it 2-1 with 2:30 to play in the third quarter.

Moments later, the Lazers almost tied it. But Lazer forward Jim Gabarra's 30-footer from the right side went by Toth and into the far corner of the net just after the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter.

It didn't take the Lazers long to really tie the game. At 2:09 of the final quarter, Thompson Usiyan's 25-footer from the right side bounced off the sideboard and rolled off Toth's back into the net.

Toth made 15 saves on 27 shots. Lazer goalkeeper A.J. Lachowecki, making his first Major Indoor Soccer League start, had 20 saves on 28 shots. Lachowecki signed with the Lazers as a free-agent after playing for Lazer Coach Keith Tozer with the Louisville Thunder of the American Indoor Soccer League.

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