Sonny Askew proved too much for the Seattle Sounders again tonight, scoring the decisive goal in an overtime shootout to give the Washington Diplomats a 2-1 victory.

The triumph gave the Diplomats a team-record 17 wins and left Washington 21 points behind the Cosmos in the race for the North American Soccer League's Eastern Division title.

Askew, who scored a goal and assisted on two other tallies when the Diplomats beat Seattle, 3-1 at RFK July 15, has made the big score for Washington in three of the last four games.

He had the game winner against Vancouver at home July 18 and scored Washington's only goal in a 2-1 overtime loss at California July 21.

Askew's heroics came after washington rallied before 14,452 fans in the Kingdome to tie the contest at 1-1 with slightly more than three minutes to play.

In the shootout, won by Washington, 4-3 Alan Green, Tommy O'Hara and Bob Iarusci scored before Don Droege missed. Alan Hudson, Al Trost and steve Buttle tallied for Seattle before Derek Smethurst misfired.

Askew, the youngest Diplomat, then put the ball into the net. Diplomat's goalkeeper Bill Irwin smothered a shot by Jimmy Neighbour, thus giving Washington the win.

Both teams sparred for an opening in the first half, but neither scored.

The Sounders, however, turned the Kingdome into a shooting gallery, squeezing the trigger on six shots to Washington's one during the first 17 minutes and taking 10 to the first 17 minutes and taking 10 of the 16 recorded during the first 45 minutes.

Seattle, fighting for postseason playoff position, kept constant pressure on Irwin, who was called upon to make four saves to one by Mike Ivanov, the Sounder's 6-4, 180-pound netminder.

Diplomat chances weren't helped when midfielders Joe Horvath and Carmine Marcantonia came up injured in a disappointing 2-1 overtime road loss to the California Surf Saturday. Horvath was in uniform tonight but Marcantonio was not.

The Sounders were without two regulars -- Mike England, only player to be named to the All NASL first team four straight years, and John Ryan, high-scoring defendar.

After intermission, Bradley, who notched the first-ever athletic coaching triumph when the Kingdome opened its doors in 1976, replaced Steel and Ane Mihailovich.

Washington took control during the first few minutes of the second half, the pendulum swung back in Seattle's favor.

Alan Hudson, the British superstar midfielder moved to the front line earlier this month to generate more firepower, scored his first goal us a Sounder following a corner kick from Steve Buttle. Hudson took the ball in front of the net, then headed it to the far past just to the right of Irwin. The time was 61:08.

The diplomats finally scored with 3:13 to play when Rene Breevoort took a cross from reserve Andries Maseko after a corner kick and chested it into the net to deadlock the score at 1-1, sending the teams into overtime for the second time in five days.