The Salsa advanced to the American Professional Soccer League championship game by defeating the Vancouver 86ers, 3-2, in a shootout Saturday in front of 5,027 at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver.
The Salsa will play the winner of today’s game between Tampa Bay and Colorado on Oct. 2 for the league title. If Colorado wins, the title game will be at Titan Stadium.
Paulinho tied the score, 2-2, on a free kick in the final seconds of regulation. After a scoreless overtime, the Salsa beat Vancouver in the shootout, 3-1.
The 86ers, who finished first in the regular season, opened a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute on a penalty kick by Dom Mobilio. The Salsa’s Danny Pena headed in a corner-kick cross by Dale Ervine in the 23rd minute to tie the score.
In the second half, the 86ers took the lead again when Mobilio passed to Dale Mitchell, who scored what appeared to be the game-winning goal.
But Paulinho, the APSL regular-season scoring champion, tied the score with his 16th goal of the season. His perfectly placed shot went over Vancouver’s six-man wall and past goalkeeper Paul Dolan.