Aztecs Nip Dallas

Glenn Parsons
Date Published: 
Pasadena Star-News

With a blistering second half offensive surge, the Los Angeles Aztecs overcame a 2-0 deficit to register a 3-2 overtime victory over the Dallas Tornado Sunday in the East L.A. Stadium.

With 5,768 fans screaming their appreciation, the Aztecs sent the contest into a tiebreaker situation with a sustained offensive drive that kept Dallas on defense throughout the second half.

Under North American Soccer League rules, the winner of a tied game is determined by a series of five penalty kicks from a spot 12 yards in front of the goal. If both teams convert the same number of attempts, the procedure continues in a sudden-death situation.

The Aztecs rode the tiebreaker to their second victory in as many NASL outings when both teams converted four of five initial penalty kicks and Ricardo DeRienzo, the seventh Aztec to step to the ball, drove a shot past the diving hands of Dallas goalie Ken Cooper.

Kyle Role, Jr., who gave the Tornado its second goal with only a minute left in the first half, smashed his penalty attempt directly at Aztec goalie Kelvin Barclay, who caught the ball to set up DeRienzo's sudden-death clincher.

"I suppose if anyone can really enjoy pressure, I do," the 1974 "Superstar" champion commented later. "I was trying to make Barclay think I was going to hook the ball into the right side of the net, then pull it to the left. I just didn't get it over far enough."

Barclay, on the other hand, thought Rote was attempting to surprise him with a shot through the middle.

"Many goalies tend to lean one way or the other before the ball is kicked," he said, "but I wait until I know where the kick is going. I thought Rote may have been trying to catch me leaning to one side."

Although the Aztecs had several chances to score in the first half, intermission found them trailing on Dallas goals by Rote and Albert Jackson, who headed the ball over a fallen Barclay, only four minutes into the game.

The second ball was all Los Angeles, however, as Luis Marotte lofted a 35-yard free kick toward the Tornado goal and Renato Costa headed it in with 31 minutes remaining and Tony Douglas smashed a hardline drive from 30 yards out and past the stretched out Cooper to tie it with 7:50 left to play.