Darts Win 1-0, Hike NASL Lead

Don Dunn
Date Published: 
Cumberland Evening Times

WASHINGTON — The Dallas Tornado whooshed into town yesterday to meet the first-place Washington Darts on the reputation of being a harmless breeze rather than a major storm. On the offensive end of the field at Catholic University Stadium the Dallas team held up the non-tornado idea, but on defense the North American Soccer League Southern Section tailender showed a much different appearance. The Darts won the match 1-0, but the one goal came on a misplay from a defender rather than from offensive work by the Darts.

Washington came into the contest leading the league in scoring with 18 goals, but Dallas held off the home team with magnificent effect, keeping 20 shots out of the nets.

Of the 20 Dart firings, half were from inside the penalty area, including a trio from an even more snug distance, inside the goal area.

The whole 90 minutes held a showing of offense from the winners, with the show ending with 13 corner kicks and eight offsides calls showing a count of the matter in addition to the shot total. Leroy DeLeon, the Darts' center-forward, led the efforts with five shots, and Warren Archibald and Gerry Browne added three each, but all to no avail.

Dallas showed why it stands in the cellar of the Southern Section of the NASL, coming up with only seven shots on D.C. 'keeper Lincoln Phillips in the contest, with the playing coach touching the ball only three times. The other four flew over the goal and out of play.

Leading the Dallas attack were Luis Juracy and Roy Turner with two attempts each, but the ball just wasn't being moved through the extremely tough Darts defense, which has given up only 14 goals, leading the league in that as well as in scoring with 19, points in the standings at 58 and in the won-lost-tied count with a 6-3-2, the only winning record of the six league teams.

Washington showed how good the defense here is, holding the NASL leading scorer, Mike Renshaw, without a shot in the contest and runnerup scorer Kirk Apostolidis to one attempt. Renshaw entered the game with six goals and Apostolidis with five.

The one goal in the match came in the 30th minute of the first half, Dick Hall pushing the ball back to Tornado goalkeeper Ken Cooper for a save, with the sphere finding its way past
Cooper to set up Washington's win.

The Darts moved the ball right up to a comfortable shooting area time after time over the whole affair, but couldn't break through the clutch-playing defenders for scores. The 3,427 fans present for the party were treated to speed shows from Archibald and Browne and effective ballhandling work by DeLeon and Victorio Casa, without the ultimate success. Dallas just put a lid on the target with a nearly brilliant defense, the only goal coming out of the same defense against itself.

The victory out of a momentary lapse in an outstanding performance is something which happens to the first-place teams in all sports, and the Darts came out of yesterday's good fortune with a stronger hold on that position in the league. Reaching the halfway point in this season's schedule next week with a Saturday match against the Atlanta Chiefs at Catholic U., the winner stand in an extremely comfortable position for their initial season in the NASL, after two seasons as champions in the American League, a minor league type organization.

Saturday's match was originally slated for the following day, but was rescheduled to enable soccer fans to view a closed-circuit television airing of the final match of the World Cup playoffs in Mexico, which will be shown at the Baltimore Civic Center.