SAN DIEGO — A header by Keder was the difference Friday night.
At 5:47 of the final quarter, Keder--stationed to the left of the goal on the Sockers' power play--headed a centering pass from Waad Hirmez off the crossbar and into the net to complete a Socker comeback from two goals down.
The Sockers rally began when they got a break to help them on their first goal in the third quarter. Then, power plays resulted in the two fourth-quarter goals that lifted Sockers over the Cleveland Force, 3-2, in front of a season-low crowd of 7,879 at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The first-place Sockers (7-4) outshot the Force, 35-10, and raised their record at home to 4-0.
San Diego trailed 2-0 at halftime against a Force team that was coming off a 9-5 loss to the Lazers at the Forum Wednesday and a 7-3 loss to the Sockers last Friday night at the Richfield Coliseum. San Diego's Branko Segota had six goals and an assist in that game.
Segota, who said "he couldn't breathe" out there because of the tight Force defense, was held to an assist this time. But the Sockers had goals from Hirmez, Hugo Perez and Keder. In the game, Socker goalkeeper Zoltan Toth made five saves on only 10 shots, which is a Force club record.
P.J. Johns made 13 saves on 34 shots. Forward Craig Allen and defender Brian Bliss scored for Cleveland, which used five players in the back for much of the game.
"It's frustrating to play against," Socker defender Kevin Crow said. "We have to be smart."
Hirmez's left-footer off Johns' hands at 3:50 of the third quarter put the Sockers on the scoreboard. Hirmez had virtually no angle on his shot from the left sideboard, but the ball slid off Johns' hands, hit the near post and went into the goal.
With the Force penalized for having too many players on the field, the Sockers tied the game on Perez's power-play goal at 3:04 of the final quarter. Perez and Brian Quinn worked a give-and-go on the left side of the field with Perez scoring on a left-footer from inside the penalty area.
With Kai Haaskivi penalized for encroachment, Keder broke the tie with his 12th goal, a team-leading fourth power-play goal.
"If you take one player away from their solid defense, that's all you need," Socker Coach Ron Newman said.
On offense, the Force jumped on top on a tap-in by forward Craig Allen at 5:57 of the first quarter. Pinpoint passing from Haaskivi to Desmond Armstrong to Allen set up the goal.
Cleveland made it 2-0 at 4:57 of the second quarter when Haaskivi's centering pass set up an easy goal by Bliss, who was open as he cut down the middle.
After that, the Sockers dominated the scoreboard as well as the play on the field.
Socker Coach Ron Newman said he has fined defender Kevin Crow and midfielder Brian Quinn an undisclosed amount for their actions that led Newman to send them off the practice field Thursday for insubordination. "We have rules and regulations on this club," Newman said before Friday's game. What led up to the fines is a long story. At Thursday's practice, Quinn fouled Keder. When Keder got the ball back with Quinn behind him, Keder let the ball roll past and stepped back into Quinn. The two exchanged words. Then Quinn headed at Keder and hit him in the arm with a shot. "It was my most accurate shot this year," Quinn said Friday. After Quinn's shot, Newman told Quinn to leave practice. Crow asked Newman why Keder wasn't also asked to leave since Keder's foul was more vicious. Assistant Coach Johan Aarnio interjected, telling Newman he didn't have to explain himself to Crow. Crow said: "I probably wouldn't understand the explanation anyway." Newman told Crow to leave the field. "These things happen all the time at practice," Newman added. It seems that way with the Sockers. . . . Quinn added that he plans to meet soon with Ron Cady, the Socker president, to "find out where the future lies." That's Quinn's future and the team's future . . . Forward Zoran Karic of Yugoslavia was activated today and added to the Sockers' 19-player roster. Karic also received a working visa and is eligible to play, but he did not dress against Cleveland because of a stubbed toe suffered in a practice Friday. Socker defender Hormoz Tabrizi was assigned to the club's reserve team. Tabrizi was scoreless in three games. . . . The San Diego State soccer team that lost to Clemson, 2-0, in the NCAA final last Sunday was introduced and honored at halftime Friday . . . The Sockers play the Dallas Sidekicks tonight at Reunion Arena at 5:35 PST. There will be a live simulcast on Prime Ticket Network and XTRA (690).
Sockers 3, Cleveland 2 Cleveland 1 1 0 0--2
San Diego 0 0 1 2--3
FIRST PERIOD: 1. CL, Allen (11) (Armstrong), 5:57. Penalties--Cleveland Bench, served by DiFlorio (sixth foul), 7:26.
SECOND PERIOD: 2. CL, Bliss (8) (Haaskivi), 4:57. Penalties. None.
THIRD PERIOD: 3. SD, Hirmez (3) (Segota), 3:50. Penalties--Keder, SD (tripping), 4:43; San Diego bench, served by Daugherty (too many men on field), 9:53.
FOURTH PERIOD: 4. SD, Perez (7) (Quinn), 3:04 (pp). 5. SD, Keder (12) (Hirmez), 5:47 (pp). Penalties--Cleveland bench, served by DiFlorio (too many players on field), 1:44; Haaskivi, CL (encroachment), 4:29; Cleveland bench, served by Zurita (6th foul), 12:42.
SHOTS ON GOAL: CL 3-3-3-1--10. SD 10-7-7-11--35. Att--7,789.