March 11, 2013 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - San Diego Sockers
SAN DIEGO--Chiky Luna's scissor kick golden goal 1:20 into sudden death overtime gave the San Diego Sockers a heart-stopping 6-5 victory over the Las Vegas Legends at the Valley View Casino Center, advancing the Sockers to the PASL Ron Newman Cup championship game. San Diego will face the Detroit Waza Flo in the championship game for the second straight season, after Detroit also escaped the semi-final with a 6-5 OT win over Rio Grande Valley. A PASL playoff-record crowd of 4,278 saw Luna slide down at the right edge of the crease, converting a Diego Rovira pass into the semi-final winning score.
"The ball bounced kind of high, too high for me to side-foot it. I knew the goalie was down trying to make the save, and I jumped up and did a half "bike" (bicycle kick)," said Luna, who netted his third goal of the postseason, "Luckily it went in."
San Diego (18-2) was pushed to the limit by Las Vegas, as the Legends came back to equalize three times in the second half, including Rodrigo Barbirato's conversion of a corner kick with :43 remaining in regulation to force overtime. Kraig Chiles, who accepted his third consecutive PASL MVP award prior to kickoff, netted the go-ahead goal on an assist from Aaron Susi (goal, two assists) with 2:23 left in the fourth to put San Diego briefly ahead. Eric Guzman scored twice to lead the Legends (15-4).
"We worked hard, knew we weren't going to lose," said Luna.
After a scoreless first quarter, Las Vegas opened the scoring on Edgar Nava's 1-v-1 goal to make it 1-0 Legends just over three minutes into the second frame. Brian Farber answered with a power play goal for San Diego off Eduardo Velez's assist to level the score at one. Guzman's short-handed goal put Vegas ahead 2-1, but Ze Roberto equalized on a rebound goal late in the quarter, and Kraig Chiles' power play goal with 1:02 left in the half put San Diego ahead 3-2 at intermission.ï¿½
"We fight. We put ourselves in some holes this year, but we show what kind of team we have (by) coming back," said team captain Aaron Susi, "We're resilient and we never stop. Great win for us."
The Sockers and Waza will square off Monday night at the Valley View Casino Center with the Ron Newman Cup up for grabs. It's the second consecutive national championship final between San Diego and Detroit. The Sockers were victorious 10-7 last season to clinch their third straight title. Detroit defeated the Sockers 7-6 last Saturday to win the U.S. Open Cup. Tickets are available for the final at (866) 799-GOAL, via TicketMaster at sdsockers.com, and at the Valley View Casino Center box office.