by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. – The Comets (2-1-0) went to an Extra-Time period and pulled out a 3-1 win to defeat the Dallas Sidekicks (1-2-0) to advance to the Ron Newman Cup Semifinals. The Extra-Time period was needed after the Sidekicks topped the Comets 7-5 in Game Two of the series.

In Game One on Saturday in Texas, the teams battled to a 1-1 score after the first 30 minutes of play. Tonight was a similar first-half pace with each team playing evenly and finding the back of the net twice before halftime. Also, like Saturday, Dallas opened the scoring, this time on a goal from Felipe Silva, assisted by Jamie Lovegrove to put the Sidekicks up 1-0 with 10:28 to go in the first quarter.

Kansas City leveled the game 1-1 when Ramona Palmer fed a pass to Nacho Flores, who converted for his third goal of the playoffs. The teams played a penalty-free first half so neither squad’s special teams were tested.

What was special, however, was the third goal of the game which many on social media are calling the Goal of the Year. Lucas Sousa was on the right of the goal and sent a wall-pass to Benji Monreal, who leaped to volley the pass, using his right foot going behind his left, sending the ball top-shelf past Dallas keeper Juan Gamboa for the 2-1 lead with 5:01 to play in the half.

Oscar Romero scored an unassisted goal for Dallas with under two minutes to play in the second quarter and the teams went to the locker room knotted at two goals each.

Dallas scored the lone third-quarter goal off the foot of Sebastian Mendez to hold a 3-2 lead headed to the final quarter of regulation.

The teams had combined for five goals through 45 minutes of play, then unleashed seven goals in the fourth quarter. Lovegrove got it started with back-to-back goals to give Dallas a 5-2 advantage with 11:56 remaining.

The Comets snapped Dallas’ run of four-straight goals with their sixth-attacker on the field. Sousa fired a shot into the opposite upper corner off his right foot on the left side to cut the Sidekicks’ lead to two at 5-3 with just under six minutes to play.

James Togbah was credited for a goal that Cody Ellis inadvertently sent into his own net less than a minute later to bring Kansas City within one at 5-4 with 5:02 on the clock.

David Ortiz scored back-to-back empty-net goals for Dallas to stretch their lead back to three at 7-4 with less than three minutes to play. Ray Lee picked up the final goal of the game for the Comets to reach the 7-5 final and send the Quarterfinal series to an Extra-Time period.

36 seconds into the Extra-Time period, Rian Marques took a pass from Sousa and while spinning to his right and falling, beat Gamboa low to the left side to put the Comets up 1-0.

Thetsane doubled the Comets’ lead on a great solo effort when he stole the ball on a slide to prevent a Dallas attack and scored unassisted to make it 2-0 with 8:53 left.

Luiz Morales answered for Dallas to run the score to 2-1 and it looked like Varela got the game-tying goal with 4:50 on the clock. Upon video review, the goal was waved off by officials due to the ball touching a Dallas player on the bench before the goal. The score remained 2-1.

Ray Lee recorded the final goal of the game with just 42 seconds left to seal the win for Kansas City.

The Comets will now advance to the Ron Newman Cup Semifinals where they will face the Florida Tropics. Tickets will be available at once the schedule is set.