Planned Revenge Works For Darts

Don Dunn
Date Published: 
Cumberland Evening Times

WASHINGTON—Yesterday was one of planned revenge for the Washington Darts of the North American Soccer League, and the plans came through on an extremely successful note. The Darts, hosting last year's NASL championship team, the Kansas City Spurs of the League's Northern Section, snapped off a 1-1 triumph to gain revenge for the 4-0 loss handed them by the Spurs last week at Kansas City.

Conveniently enough, the win gave Washington nine points in the standings to strengthen its hold on first place in the Southern Section. The Darts entered the game one point ahead of Dallas on 23 points for the season, and now smile down at the Tornado with 32 markers. The front-runners hold a won-lost-tied record thus far of 3-3-1, including defeats from their foreign opposition, Hertha of Berlin and Coventry City, England.

The Darts hit the field in the proverbial grim determination yesterday, but a cloud bank did the same to the area around Catholic University. A storm of bucket-load calibre made a damp farce of approximately 20 minutes of the early going in the match, holding both teams scoreless but drowning the hopes of only the Spurs.

In the 22nd minute of the contest, Victorio Casa pulled a fancy backward-facing head shot, leaving KG goalkeeper Leonel Conde gazing at the ball hitting the goalnets to pull Washington ahead. Conde, the NASL's leading goalie coming into this week's action, had no chance for the slick work from Casa, although the one-armed hustler was but five yards out.

The first half closed 2-0 on a penalty goal by Leroy DeLeon in the 45th minute of play. The penalty was called when Conde was overcome by the muddy aftermath of the storm and full back Mladen Vrankovic made a diving catch to prevent a field goal.

The Darts began the second half as if they might build a lead large enough to humiliate the defending champs, with Billy Fraser, a husky 5-7 halfback, hitting after a perfect pass from Gerry Browne. Fraser's shot came from one yard out, to the left of the target.

If Washington had ideas of putting a record scoring show upon their guests, those ideas vanished with just less than 30 minutes remaining when goalie coach Lincoln Phillips was injured in a collision and replaced himself in the nets with Ramon Narvez.

In the 65th minute, Kansas City forward Clarival Oliveira scored on a direct free kick 23 yards out when Narvez failed to follow the movement of the ball with accuracy. Without Phillips in the goal, Washington had problems with defense in the closing minutes, the coach's directing shouts no longer behind the defenders. Prior to his exit, backs Willie Evans, Roland Crispin, Bert Grell and Vic Gamaldo had played a brilliant match, halting the Spurs' offense to extremes.

After the coach left, Kansas City's Manfred Seissler and Oliveira put definite pressures on the home
team. In the earlier minutes, the only threats came from Asher Welch, the speedy outside-left.

KG threats or not, the final score came from Dart Warren Archibald, who had replaced Casa late in the match, with Archibald hitting an unassisted goal from the unbelievable distance of less than a yard out. With two minutes to go, the 4-1 revenge story had been closed.