Mark Karpun's goal in double overtime lifted the Dallas Sidekicks to a 5-4 victory over the Tacoma Stars Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd of 16,824 in Reunion Arena to even their Major Indoor Soccer League best-of-seven championship series at three games apiece.
The series' seventh and deciding game will be played in Tacoma Saturday night. So far, the home team has won each match.
The teams played 20 minutes and 30 seconds after regulation play, the longest MISL playoff game in the league's nine-year history. The previous record was 14:06 between Baltimore and Cleveland in 1981.
Steve Zungul tied the game with 40 seconds left in regulation on an assist by Preki after the Stars had pulled their goalie.
After a scoreless first overtime, Karpun and Willie Molano broke free on a two-on-one situation and Karpun's low, hard shot at 5:30 into the period beat goalie Joe Papaleo.
Tatu scored twice in the fourth period within a two-minute span to give Dallas leads of 3-2 and 4-3. Preki, on an assist by Zungul, tied the score at 3-3.
Kevin Smith tied the score at 2-2 just before halftime with a short-handed goal. A clever give-and-go touch pass from Mike Uremovich set up the goal.
Tacoma held a 2-1 lead on goals by Gary Heale and Zungul, who was playing in his 60th consecutive playoff match.
The team that has scored first has won every game of the series. No team has ever recovered from an 0-2 deficit to win the MISL playoffs. Dallas lost the two opening games in Tacoma.