The playoff-bound Washington Diplomats with two regular season games remaining, dropped their second consecutive North American Soccer League contest last night, losing to the Rochester Lancers 1-0.
The Dips play their last home game Wednesday against the Cosmos at RFK Stadium, then travel to Toronto next Sunday.
Joszer Norveth's goal in the first half was the only scoring of the game.
In the first 10 minutes of the game, neither team got off a shot. Then , 16 minutes into the period Diplomat goalie Bill Irwiz was called for taking too many steps of a kick. The resulting direct kick was handled by the Lanfers' Julio Baylon, who passed the ball to Francisco Bolota on the right side. Bolota's six sailed over the crossbar.
Four minutes later a hard, 30-yard shot by Rochester's Pat Ercoli sailed wide left.
But the game opened up considerably after that with play ranging from goal to goal. The Diplomats got off several shots, with their best chance at scoring coming on Ray Graydon's shot from 20 yards that was blocked by Lancer goalie Ray Svilz.
Irwin made a save off his chest on a point-blank shot by Ercoli. The rebound rolled to the left and Ibraim Silva missed the open net when he couldn't get a foot solidly on the ball, which rolled off to the left.
But at 17:32 the Lancers scored when Bolota passed to Joszer Norvath on the left side, and Norvath drove a 25-yeard shot to the right of Irwin.
Seconds later, the Diplomats missed a golden scoring opportunity when Gary Darrell made a nice move to elude a defender and got the ball to former Lancer Mike Bakic in front of the goal. Bakic scored the tying goal in last Saturday's come-from-behind victory over the Lancers in RFK Stadium, but this time a Lancer defender kicked the ball over the next before Bakic could shoot.
With about five minutes left in the half, Irwin made three strong saves on shots that resulted from scrambles in front of the net. The first was the toughest, as Irwin dived to his right to snare a head shot by Bolota.
The half ended with the Diplomats outshot, 10-6.