Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Sakib Viteskic scored two goals, the second with 3:13 elapsed in overtime, and the Washington Diplomats beat the San Diego Sockers, 3-2, after trailing by 2-0, last night at RFK Stadium.
Only 6,542 were on hand to watch the Dips win their third straight to raise their North American Soccer League record to 12-9.The nine standing points gave them a total of 107, pulling Washington 23 ahead of Rochester, which lost last night to Portland, 1-0, and 27 clear of fourth-place Toronto, a 2-1 overtime loser against Tampa Bay, in the race for second place in their division.
The Dips treated last night's audience to one of the most exciting games this season.
Despite controlling play throughout the first half, the Dips fell behind as Julie Veee and Walker McCall scored for San Diego.
"The first one was a defensive error. Mike Dillon made a mistake and they scored," said Washington Coach Gordon Bradley. "The second goal, we cleared the ball and it hit one of our players and bounced back to McCall and he hit it. I wasn't worried. I knew we'd come out in the second half and play well. We were playing good soccer in the first half but couldn't score."
The Sockers, 12-8 with 110 points to lead the Western Division of the National Conference, completely wilted in the second half. Having only 10 men the final 57:14 of play didn't help their chances.
Veee, San Diego's top player, was ejected after taking a swing at Washington's Tommy O'Hara. The Dip defender had grabbed Veee by the jersey and the Socker midfielder retaliated. The referee gave O'Hara a yellow card and sent off Veee, leaving the Sockers a man short.
From that point, Washington, setting a club record with 39 shots, bombarded Socker goalkeeper Alan Mayer. The keeper, credited with 12 saves had done a miraculous job of keeping the Dips from scoring until Ken Mokgojoa covered a crossing pass from Bobby Stokes at 67:15.
Following one of many steals, Mokgojoa sent a header toward the San Diego goal. The ball was deflected by one of the tall San Diego defenders, but Viteskic caught the rebound and booted in the tying goal from 10 yards out at 70:57.
In the first 7 1/2-minute overtime session, the Dips went right to work. Cus Hiddink got clear and boomed a low liner that banged off the right post. The ball came back to Viteskic, who had nothing but net in front of him and hit the game-winner.
Going into the Socker game Washington's announced average attendance for 10 games was 11,031, fifth highest in the NASL. Last year, the Dips averaged 13,058 for 13 home dates, including a big turnout for Pele and the Cosmos.