Before the kickoff of the 1987 Major Indoor Soccer League All-Star game Wednesday night, superstar Steve Zungul of the Tacoma Stars predicted the outcome.
"There will be at least 10 goals scored," Zungul said, "(and) the West should win by two."
He was almost correct on both counts, but a goal by the Cleveland Force's Kai Haaskivi 32 seconds into sudden-death overtime gave the East a 6-5 victory before a Forum crowd of 10,524.
Haaskivi was being hounded by the West defense but still managed to get the game-winner.
"I got the pass (from Cleveland's Carl Valentine)," Haaskivi said, "and when I ran out of options, I shot the ball."
A third-quarter goal by Zungul had given the West a 5-4 lead which it held until 20 seconds remained in the game. With 1:52 left, the East had pulled goalkeeper Tino Lettieri of the Minnesota Kicks in favor of a sixth attacker, the New York Express' Michael Collins.
The move paid off.
The Baltimore Blast's Mike Stankovic took a pass from Collins and, firing through a crowd of players in front of the net, tied the game with 20 seconds left, sending it into overtime.
"We just kept pressing and pressing and it finally paid off," Stankovic said.
Then, Haaskivi's goal less than a minute into the extra period gave the East only its second All-Star victory in seven tries. (The first MISL All-Star game was played between the league's Central and Atlantic divisions).
Haaskivi's heroics earned him most valuable player honors, one of the few awards that has eluded Zungul, who finished with a goal and two assists.
"I can't count how many times I've been close to winning the MVP award," said Zungul, playing in his seventh All-Star game. "I guess they want me to always be second, they don't want me to be perfect. The other guy (Haaskivi) scored the overtime goal and they (the voters) changed their mind.
"Next year the game is in my town, Tacoma, and I should win it there. Even if we get beat, 10-0, my guys will vote for me there to win MVP. I think it's my last hope."
Zungul three points did give him the all-time All-Star lead in that category, increasing his total to 16 and moving him ahead of former Baltimore player Stan Stamenkovic.
The East took a 3-2 lead just 44 seconds into the third period when Cleveland's Peter Ward scored off a pass from Haaskivi, who was playing in his fifth All-Star game.
The San Diego Sockers' Branko Segota tied the score at 3-3 when he tapped a right-footed shot past Lettieri 3:19 into the third quarter.
After West goalkeeper Zoltan Toth was called for tripping, Baltimore's Richard Chinapoo scored on a penalty kick, giving the East a 4-3 lead.
But Tacoma's Preki again tied it up at 4-4 not long thereafter.
The game figured from the start to be a wide open affair, as were the previous seven.
"It's usually a high scoring game because you don't really have time to organize," West Coach Ron Newman of San Diego said. "It's harder to organize defense (in the brief practice time available)."
The West jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:23 into the first quarter when San Diego's Brian Quinn scored an unassisted goal when his shot slipped past East goalkeeper Krys Sobieski of the Dallas Sidekicks.
The East tied it up 30 seconds later when Chinapoo took a pass from Collins and kicked a rocket from 60 feet into the upper right corner of the net past an unsuspecting goalie David Brcic of the Lazers.
The East took a 2-1 lead 9:19 into the first quarter when Minnesota's Thompson Usiyan, making his first all-star appearance, took a pass from Dallas' Victor Moreland and drilled the ball past Sobieski.
In the second quarter, operating on a power-play, former teammates Segota and Zungul charged down the field and teamed to tie the score at 2-2 when Zungul assisted on Segota's 35-foot blast past Sobieski.