Scoring twice in less than three minutes, the Dallas Tornado, holder of the longest losing streak in North American Soccer League history, won its third game in its last four tonight, beating the Washington Diplomats, 3-1.
The Tornado, which lost 20 games in a row earlier this year, won for only the fifth time against 22 losses. Injury-plagued Washington, loser of 11 of its last 15, dropped to 12-14.
Washington, playing without Johan Cruyff (groin injury), scored first before the crowd of 2,697 at Texas Stadium. But Dallas rallied against rookie goalkeeper Jim Messemer, who was making his first professional appearance.
Silvio scored two Dallas goals, the first at 69:57 and the second at 88:04.
Dallas, which has scored only 19 goals this season, almost got one 14 minutes into the first half. Cliff Calvert, the Tornado's fastest player, started a drive down the left side, passing ahead to Nathan Sacks, who touched the ball ahead to Silvio.
Silvio sent a left-footed shot at Messemer. The shot was wide of both the goal and Dallas winger Wolfgang Rausch, looking for the rebound on the right.
Washington had a shot at 16:08 when Trevor Hebberd tried to induce Dallas goalkeeper Bill Irwin to come out so he could lob the ball over his head. But Irwin stayed back and stopped the shot.
Dallas had another scoring attempt after a Washington corner kick when Calvert stole the ball, dribbled through three defenders and shot wide.
Washington took a 1-0 lead at 40:23, with David Bradford scoring his fourth goal of the year. David McGill brought the ball in from the left, giving it to Clive Haywood. Haywood left the ball for Bradford, who had no trouble scoring from about 10 yards out.
Eleven seconds after replacing Milton, Njego Pesa, who has been sidelined by a dislocated elbow, shot just wide from 20 yards out.
At 56:55, Haywood stole a pass from Dallas defenders and sent a shot over Irwin's head. As the helpless Dallas keeper watched, the shot plunked on the crossbar. At 46:30, Bradford pulled the ball from the melee and went one-on-one against Irwin, who blocked the shot.
Haywood had the ball at his feet after a Washington corner at 63:04, but his body was turned the wrong way and he couldn't shoot.
Dallas tied the score at 67:05. After passes by Tony Bellinger and Silvio, Rausch backed in on the Washington defense, turned and shot. Messemer should have had a simple save, but the ball eluded him.
The Tornado took the lead at 69:57 on Silvio's first goal of the year. Given a free kick because Paul Jones was fouled running for a through pass by Rausch, Silvio shot a line drive from 30 yards out. Crossing from the opposite side, Pesa distracted Messemer, making him think he would go for the header. Pesa never touched the ball.
Jim Brown, Washington's regular goalkeeper, replaced Messemer at 74:46. Brown didn't start because of a tendinitis problem in his Achilles tendon.
The Diplomats, their hopes of gaining the playoffs now badly damaged, next play Sunday in Toronto. Cruyff is not expected to play in that game, either.