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Sockers and Segota Down Comets, 4-3

November 30, 1987|DENNIS DODD

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nothing changed much in the Socker-Kansas City Comet series Sunday in Kemper Arena.

Branko Segota scored two goals to help lead the Sockers to a 4-3 victory, San Diego's 16th in 22 games against the Comets and 7th of 11 at Kansas City.

Segota scored the go-ahead goal in the fourth quarter as the Sockers (5-3) moved into first place in the Major Indoor Soccer League's Western Division.

Keder also scored twice, giving him a season total of 10 goals. Keder, a Yugoslav rookie who played a few games for the New York Express last season, has scored 6 of his 12 career goals against Kansas City.

Segota's power-play goal 1:58 into the fourth quarter broke a 2-2 tie. His second goal was scored after the Comets pulled their goalkeeper for a sixth attacker with 1:44 left. The Sockers needed it, because Dale Mitchell completed a hat trick by scoring against goalkeeper Jim Gorsek with 5 seconds left in the game.

Segota has 15 career goals in 15 games against Kansas City. Including last year's playoffs, he has nine goals in the last three games, including four goals in two games this season.

"Sure, you remember who you do well against," Segota said. "One year I had something like 37 points in 7 games against St. Louis."

The struggling Comets (2-6) played conservatively, but a fundamental error did them in. They were given a bench penalty for having too many players on the field at 1:03 of the fourth quarter. Segota scored his first goal on a shot past Ed Gettemeier 55 seconds later.

"They were shielding Branko to his right foot," Gorsek said. "That's what you're supposed to do. You don't want a guy coming right up the middle. Branko just took one step, wound up and hit it to the far post past Gettemeier. It was one step, and boom, it was gone."

The Comets couldn't recover. Gorsek made 12 saves in winning for the third time in four starts.

Kansas City's third-smallest home crowd ever--8,454--watched it lose for the fourth time in five games. Kansas City is in last place in the Western Division and has the league's worst record.

After a scoreless first half, Keder and Mitchell each traded goals. Segota then set up Keder's second goal when he raced down the right side on a power play. When the defense shifted toward Segota, Keder merely had to tap in the pass in to the goal. Kansas City had previously stopped 11 of the last 12 power plays.

Mitchell tied it by redirecting Iain Fraser's pass 28 seconds after Keder's second goal.

"That team over there (San Diego) was ready to be beaten today," Mitchell said. "(But) it was like a morgue out there. That's why I climbed the glass after my second goal. I hardly ever do that. I was trying to get people going."

Said Clements: "Somewhere along the line, if we're going to win, we have to find ways to stop the Branko Segotas of the world. Or develop one ourselves."

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