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Sockers Shake Road Jinx, Top Sidekicks, 4-3

November 21, 1987|RICHIE WHITT

DALLAS — Friday night's scene at Reunion Arena was all too familiar for Socker Coach Ron Newman.

The Sockers, who had squandered late leads in losing their first two road games of the Major Indoor Soccer League season, were on their way to doing it again.

However, Hugo Perez's overtime goal, his second of the match, lifted the Sockers to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Sidekicks before 12,368.

"When they started coming back, it was like deja vu all over," said Newman, whose team held fourth-quarter leads in losses at Los Angeles and Wichita. "Something like that really works on your mind after a while. Tonight was a huge win because we broke that jinx and gained a lot of confidence."

Perez teamed with Gus Mokalis to wrestle the ball away from Dallas' Pedro DeBrito in overtime. Perez then beat goalkeeper Joe Papaleo with a 35-foot left-footer into the upper left-hand corner.

"We had some good chances all night," Perez said. "My shot wasn't too good, percentage-wise, but it went in, and that's all that counts. We really came out strong in overtime because we knew we didn't want another one of those types of road losses."

Dallas, trailing 3-1, pulled within a goal 1:29 into the fourth quarter on a Doc Lewis shot that bounced off Socker Brian Schmetzer. Mark Karpun was credited with the goal as he was Dallas' nearest player.

The Sidekicks pulled even at the 8:41 mark when DeBrito scored on a header, assisted by Mike Jeffries. Dallas had two chances to win in regulation, but Jeffries' header hit the crossbar at the 4:00 mark and defender Kevin Crow blocked Eddie Radwanski's shot with 10 seconds left.

San Diego led at halftime, 2-1, and increased its lead on a third-quarter goal by Perez. After Dallas missed two point-blank scoring opportunities, Papaleo stopped a Socker chance when he snuffed Branko Segota's breakaway shot. Perez got San Diego's third goal at the 6:02 mark after taking a pass off an indirect kick from Mokalis.

The first half featured two distinct quarters, the first belonging to San Diego and the second to Dallas.

San Diego, firing shots from all over, broke on top at the 9:40 mark on Segota's right-footer from the top of the box. Segota assisted Keder on the Sockers' second goal with 1:23 remaining.

Dallas controlled the second quarter's tempo but managed only one goal. The Sidekicks, averaging fewer than four goals per match, missed several scoring opportunities.

Wes McLeod, Beto, Radwanski and David Stride all hit the goal posts on open-net shots before McLeod got Dallas' first goal just before halftime. On a corner kick, Kevin Smith lofted a perfect pass to McLeod, who hit a left-footer into the back of the net at the 3:33 mark.

The Sockers outshot the Sidekicks, 29-23. San Diego goalkeeper Jim Gorsek (2-0) had 10 saves, including two one-handed deflections.

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