When the Sockers led Dynamo Moscow by two goals in the second quarter of Sunday's 7-5 exhibition victory, San Diego Coach Ron Newman said that "it was a fun and enjoyable match" and he was pleased he could experiment with his lineup.
When the game was tied at half, Newman said that "he wasn't enjoying it so much." When Dynamo Moscow took a one-goal lead early in the third quarter, Newman said he was miserable.
With the scored tied in the final quarter, Newman told Branko Segota--who already had his warmup jacket on and was prepared to sit out the second half--to "go get me back into the lead."
Which he promptly did.
Segota spun Sergey Koshanov around and blasted a turnaround 10-footer from the left side past goalkeeper Alexey Prudnikov to give the Sockers the lead for good.
"Ron told me to go in and score," Segota said, "so I went in and scored."
San Diego added two more goals to defeat Dynamo Moscow in front of 8,147 fans in the San Diego Sports Arena.
Dynamo Moscow, which is accustomed to playing in outdoor stadiums, concluded its two-week Major Indoor Soccer League swing with six losses in six games.
"Speaking objectively," said Dynamo Moscow Coach Eduard Malofeev, speaking through interpreter Boris Notkin, "we looked inferior today. If we came in May or June (the peak part of their season) we would look more decent. We could probably have won one or two matches.
"I would like to congratulate the indoor teams here. Their soccer is at a very good level."
The Sockers are 5-0 lifetime in indoor exhibitions against foreign opponents.
"I never think of losing," Newman said. "I would have been very upset if we had lost tonight. We have to make sure we are the No. 1 team in the world. We have a reputation. It wouldn't have looked good if five other teams beat them and we lost."
Malofeev was impressed with the Sockers' style of play.
"This team is closer to an outdoor team," Malofeev said. "They have more combination plays and they play less tough. I would like to express our gratitude for beautiful soccer in the game. It's pleasant to play against them."
MISL clubs would get a good chuckle at that last comment. Last year, the Sockers set a league record for penalty minutes, and this season they lead the league in penalties.
"We weren't going to play a physical game with them," Socker midfielder Cha Cha Namdar said. "This was a friendly match. We wanted to keep it clean. No rough plays."
There were some stylish plays. The Sockers' second goal of the night was picture perfect. Set up in a triangle, Hugo Perez and Jean Willrich flanked Juli Veee on either side of the goal. Perez to Veee to Perez to Veee to Willrich to Perez, who knocked in a left-footer.
"There was a lot of skill in this game," said Segota, who scored twice. "You really had to think. It was fun. An entertaining game."
It also was a game in which Newman got to play the reserves longer than usual. Regulars Fernando Clavijo, Willrich and Veee did not play in the second half.
Newman said he was particularly impressed with reserves Tim Bartro and Raffaele Ruotolo.
And everyone was a little surprised at some of the Sockers' scorers.
Bartro, Namdar and defender Brian Schmetzer scored. Namdar and Carlos Melian added assists. On the Sockers' third goal, Namdar scored and Melian got the assist.
In 24 regular-season games, Schmetzer had one goal. In 26 games, Namder had three goals and an assist. Melian was scoreless in 11 games and Bartro was scoreless in three games.
"There is no pressure in this game," Namdar said. "But when we tried to take too many chances in the second quarter, they got back in the game."
The offensive star for Dynamo Moscow--the oldest and most popular team in the Soviet Union--was forward Victor Vasilyv, who had a hat trick. Midfielder Vasilic Karataev and forward Sergey Stukashov also scored.
"I envied some of the Russian shooting," Newman said. "Their finishing was very good."
Prudnikov was also very good in goal for Dynamo Moscow. He made 12 saves. Socker goalkeeper Zoltan Toth gave up three goals and made three saves in the first half, while Jim Gorsek allowed two goals and made five saves in the second half.
According to Segota, the key to the game was that Dynamo Moscow "didn't really have the killer instinct."