Cougars Fall to Undefeated Sockers, 8-7 in OT
Del Mar, CA Â– Two restart goals decided Saturday's heavyweight Professional Arena Soccer League battle between California (4-2) and San Diego (8-0) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Arena.
California's Vicente Figueroa forced overtime with a free kick strike with just :02.5 seconds left in regulation to equalize the match. San Diego's Aaron Susi delivered the golden goal strike less than two minutes into overtime to seal the Sockers' 8-7 victory.
Susi had two goals versus his former team in the victory. Brian Farber and Figueroa each had two goals in the loss. Farber stretched his PASL-Pro point streak to 22 consecutive matches.
The Sockers have defeated the Cougars twice this season in overtime. They won earlier this season 5-4 on Kraig Chiles' overtime golden goal on November 20 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Both of California's league losses have been to San Diego. They are now tied with Texas for the Western Division's second best record. San Diego paces the Professional Arena Soccer League with a perfect 8-0 mark.
The Cougars scored two sixth attacker goals over the final four minutes to tie the match. Nelson Santana ran the offense as the sixth attacker in place of goalkeeper Jesus Molina.
The comeback started when Craig Scheer fed a beautiful pass from the San Diego yellow line to Brian Farber along the far post. Farber leaped in the air and his head flick goal brought California within one at 7-6 with 2:06 left to play.
Figueroa delivered California's miracle goal by netting a long shot from the far boards to the near post above San Diego goalkeeper Riley Swift. Figueroa's ball cleared the defense and lodged itself in the top left corner of the goal.
Susi's winner was kicked from the same area of the field as Figueroa's.
Santana started the scoring with the game's first goal midway through the first quarter. His strike came off a beautiful backward instep pass from Enrique Tovar.
California maintained their lead through the first quarter, but lost it when Chiles netted his first of two second quarter goals. Chiles equalized the match at 1-1 with 13:38 left in the first half, and again with (2-2) 1:28 left.
Jorge Martinez gave California a 2-1 lead in the second before Chiles connected on his second goal of the quarter. The 2-2 tie broke when Susi connected on his first goal of the match with just :25 seconds remaining in the half.
San Diego extended the lead to 4-2 early in the third on a goal from Chiky Luna. But, the Cougars rallied back and scored three straight goals to close the quarter.
The first was netted by Figueroa, the second by Scheer and the third by Farber. California took a 5-3 lead into the fourth, but saw it evaporate when the Sockers scored three straight times early in the fourth.
The Sockers scored three goals in the first three minutes of the fourth and took a 7-5 lead. California mounted their comeback after Santana entered as the sixth attacker with 4:25 remaining in regulation.
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Professional Arena Soccer League Stories from January 3, 2010
- Cougars Live, Die by the Restart in OT Loss to Undefeated Sockers - California Cougars
- Velez Leads Tijuana To 9-3 Win Versus Former Team On Sunday - California Cougars
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- Vortex drop Canton debut, 11-9 to Louisville - Ohio Vortex
- Vortex Get First Win in Canton - Ohio Vortex
- Cougars Fall to Undefeated Sockers, 8-7 in OT - California Cougars
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