With some luck, a lot of effort and late-game grit not often seen this year, the Dallas Sidekicks finally found a way to beat their expansion rivals, the Mesquite Outlaws, as they won, 5-4, in what was clearly the most competitive game of the four regular-season games between the teams in this MASL season.
RJ Luevano scored 12:54 into the fourth period to give the Sidekicks (3-17) their third lead of the game – one they would not relinquish – when the Dallas native took a shot from distance that deflected off of Mesquite defender Cody Ellis on its way past Outlaw goalkeeper, Eduardo Cortez. That was the middle goal of a three-goal run against Mesquite (6-13) that saw Dallas recover from their only time trailing in the game.
Freddy Moojen had scored a penalty kick at 7:55 of the period to tie the game back up and Gustavo Piedra scored a breakaway at 14:32 against Ellis as the 6th Attacker for the Outlaws for insurance they would need. Mike Jones scored in the dying second of the game for the final tally.
Unlike the previous three matches between the sides, this was a game that saw Dallas take the lead and maintain it for stretches. The Sidekicks scored first through Victor Almendariz a mere 2:29 into the game as Kristian Quintana took a shot from distance, and it hit Almendariz on the way to goal, deflecting past Cortez. With a quality effort, the Sidekicks took the lead again early in the second period after Mesquite tied the game, which they maintained until halftime.
That second goal from Dallas was a well-worked effort between Luiz Felipe and Moojen as the Luiz Felipe passed the ball from distance into Moojen near the edge of the Mesquite penalty area and ran at goal. Moojen laid the ball off to the onrushing forward well and Luiz Felipe made no mistake with a close-in shot.
Jorge DeLeon, VcMor Eligwe and Jamie Lovegrove all scored to keep Mesquite in the game for long stretches, and Lovegrove’s goal gave the Outlaws the lead early in the fourth period, but the late flurry from Dallas was too much.
Mesquite was coming off a 5-3 home win over the struggling San Diego Sockers on Friday, February 21, while Dallas lost to the same side on Sunday, February 23 on Sunday. Both teams host the Monterrey Flash next. Mesquite plays them on Saturday, February 29, while Dallas plays them on Monday, March 2.
Coming into the game, Mesquite had an outside shot at the playoffs, but they would have been chasing both Sonora (9-10) and the Tacoma Stars (7-10) and finish the season at Tacoma for their last two games. With the loss, the chances of the Outlaws catching both Sonora and Tacoma as all but mathematically impossible.