Forward Tony Crescitelli fired a shot past his old friend and teammate, Bob Stetler, tonight to give the Washington Diplomats a 2-1 victory over the Memphis Rogues.
Crescitelli's goal, at 77:24 in the sweltering Liberty Bowl, gave the Diplomats their third victory on the road in this North American Soccer League season and ran Washington's record to 10-13.
The Rogues posted their 13th loss in 23 games.
Johan Cruyff was credited with assists on both Diplomat goals, the first by Alan Green, who collected his 19th of the season.
Green's first-half goal evened the score after the Diplomats gave their hosts a goal before the game was seven minutes old.
With slightly more than six minutes gone, the Diplomats' Bob Iarusci booted the ball back to goalkeeper Dragon Radovich for what should have been a routine exchange.
But the ball was high, and Radovich was 10 yards out in front of the goal month. He never really had a chance. The ball hit just front of the end line and dribbled into the net with Radovich scrambling unsuccessfully to catch it. There wasn't a Memphis player within 20 yards.
The Diplomats scored one for themselves to tie the score, 1-1, about eight minutes later.
Cruyff took the ball over the midfield and hit Thomas Rongen with a long pass near the right corner.Rongen's across was knee-high and perfect.
Forward Green had only to deflect the ball and watch it squirt past the outstretched hands of Stetler, who joined Memphis during the indoor season.
"It was a typical Alan Green goal," said Diplomat Coach Gordon Bradley afterward. He's always buzzing around the goal and when we get the ball to him, he'll score."
The tie breaker came as both teams appeared to be slowing in the 100-degree heat.
Stetler, a former Diplomat, was up against an old friend when Crescitelli move into position about 10 yards to the right of the goal.
Defender Gary Darrell had the ball almost in front of the goal, just outside the penalty box. Darrell fed to Cruyff, who dodged a Rogue defender, spun and punched the ball to Crescitelli.
"He gave me the ball and I went to the near post," the 23-year-old forward said. "I turned and I saw the keeper had moved with me so I took a shot at the far post."
That was all that was needed. Stetler couldn't make it back across the goal in time to block Crescitelli's sixth goal of the campaign.
Green left the game at the half with a leg sprain and was replaced by Luna. Bradley credited the Argentine forward with stabilizing the team during the second half.
Cruyff also was injured in the first half, but remained on the field. Cruyff, who like the rest of the team, was completely drained by the heat, said he was satified with the performance.
"It went well," he said as he sprawled in the dressing room. He said his bruised right shin probably wouldn't keep from playing when the Diplomats take on Tampa Bay in RFK Stadium Wednesday night.
Bradley said the Rogues produced no surprises.
"Their two main threats, (Paul) Child and (Paul) Cannell (a former Diplomat) were snuffed out by Don Droege and Nick Mijatovic," Bradley said.