Dallas Sidekicks Remain One Win Away from Central Division Title, Fall 5-4
SAN DIEGO - The Sidekicks fell 5-4 in the last second of their match against the San Diego Sockers Friday night in a wild, rough match that included own-goals from both sides and a rare strike by a goaltender. The Sidekicks (11-3) remain just one win away from clinching the Central Division title and a spot in the playoffs.
Both teams came out with a lot of energy and fresh memories from their showdown on Sunday, battling hard from the first whistle. The Sidekicks killed off an early San Diego powerplay, the Sockers having a few point-blank chances and forcing goaltender Sagu to make some difficult saves. Possession throughout the first quarter was fairly even, but the match scoreless until the very end of the quarter. With just 21 seconds to go, Eddie Velez put the Sockers on the board and up 1-0.
The match intensified in the second quarter, Kiley Coach handed a tripping blue card and San Diego's Brian Farber a red card and game ejection for retaliation just 51 seconds in. The rough play escalated, the period a flurry of whistles and fouls. A San Diego blue card shortly followed by the team's sixth foul gave the Sidekicks a two-man advantage for 1:26. Franck Mbemba took advantage, striking on a pass from Shaun David to tie up the game at 7:27. The Sidekicks remained on the powerplay, and 32 seconds later Nick Stavrou gave the Sidekicks their first lead of the night. Jamie Lovegrove had a shootout chance resulting from a San Diego blue card, but goaltender Riley Swift made the challenge and the save. Neither team managed to score during a period of four-on-four play, both goaltenders coming up big. During San Diego's third powerplay of the game Kraig Chiles headed the ball past Sagu with just 20 seconds to go in the half, leveling the match at two-a-side.
The third period was a consecutive series of series of cards and powerplays, both teams coming up with impressive defensive showings. The quarter full of action but not goals, the score remaining tied 2-2.
The final period of the match was dramatic and featured rare mistakes from both goaltenders. At 5:51 Swift punted the ball right above Sagu's crossbar. Sagu made the initial save, but then lost control of the ball, it rolling behind him and into his net to give the Sockers their first lead of the night and a rare goal credited to a keeper. The Sidekicks immediately struck back, Stavrou getting his second of the match from Ricardinho to tie the game 3-3 at 6:31. Later in the period came another goalkeeping mistake, this time Swift losing control of a pass-back and allowing the ball through to give the Sidekicks back the lead at 12:34. The goal was credited to Renato. It did not take the Sockers long to tie the game back up for the second time, Chiky Luna getting the best of Sagu at 14:19. With just 41 seconds to go in the match, the Sidekicks found themselves facing their seventh powerplay kill of the night.
Overtime was in sight, but with just one second remaining in the game, Velez scored on the powerplay to win it for the Sockers 5-4. The Sidekicks immediately tried to contest the timing of the goal, but the ruling stood. Head Coach Tatu was issued his second yellow card of the match, which means that with a red card he will have to sit out the Sidekicks next game.
The Sidekicks will return home to face off against the Rockford Rampage at the Allen Event Center on Saturday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. The Sidekicks organization will be honoring Head Coach Tatu by retiring his #9 jersey at halftime.
Individual and season tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. For more information, visit www.dallassidekicks.net or call 214-550-6130. Follow the team on Twitter @GoSidekicks or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoSidekicks.
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- Dallas Sidekicks Remain One Win Away from Central Division Title, Fall 5-4 - Dallas Sidekicks
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