Detroit Express 2, Nashville Diamonds 1 (06.18.82)

Nashville 1-2 Detroit

June 19, 1982 — Hale Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)

Scoring Summary
DET — Andy Chapman (Steve Westbrook) 60′
NASH — Goran Meskovic 64′
DET — Bill Boljevic 89′

Detroit Scores Late In Game, Tops Diamonds

(Nashville Tennessean, 06.19.82)

By John Lewis Pitts

NASHVILLE — Bill Boljevic’s score with less than two minutes remaining in regulation lifted the Detroit Express to a 2-1 victory over the host Nashville Diamonds in an American Soccer League match last night.

The Hale Stadium crowd of 1,282 was already anticipating the Diamonds’ third consecutive overtime match when Detroit’s Angus Moffatt drove half the length of the field, setting up a pass to teammate Brian Tinnon.

Tinnion shuffled and launched a shot wide of the Nashville goal, but Boljevic was there to put the rebound past Diamonds goalie Fred Armstrong at the 88:36 mark.

The defeat marked the ninth straight winless effort by the ASL franchise, now 1-8-1 overall. Detroit upped its mark to 3-3-2 with the victory.

I can’t really complain about the way our team played tonight … we’re an inexperienced team, and that’s the way we decided to build our team,” said Nashville coach Hector Guevara. “Detroit got the breaks — and two goals to go with them,” he added.

Despite the loss, Nashville played more of a team-oriented game than in any of its seven previous losses. The squad’s passing was sharp, the defense generally tight, but problems remain.

“I was impressed with them,” Detroit’s Andy Chapman said after scoring his fifth goal of the season for the winners early in the second half. “Their midfielders and defenders are strong. The only thing is, it doesn’t look like they have the experience up front to get the ball in the net.”

The Express brought a 120-minute scoreless streak into the match with Nashville, the first meeting of the season between the two squads. Nashville was coming off its best recent performance, a 2-2 tie against the league-leading Georgia Generals on Sunday.

Nashville travels to Pennsylvania to square off against the Stoners tomorrow night. That evening contest kicks off a four-game road trip by the Diamonds, who don’t return to Hale Stadium until a July 9 match with Oklahoma City.

The two teams fought to a scoreless tie in the first half of last night’s match, a closely marked 45 minutes of play. But Nashville managed to keep Detroit scoreless mainly on the strength of Fred Armstrong’s play in goal — and a little bit of luck as well.

In an 11-minute period in the first period, from 24:30 to about 35:30, Armstrong was tested by a half-dozen Express shots. A couple of them barely missed wide, while Armstrong made a nifty slap-save of a shot by forward Chapman, Detroit’s leading scorer.

Chapman scored at 59:47 on a perfect assist from defender Steve Westbrook to snap his team’s scoreless streak. The goal came after Nashville had cleared the ball out of the penalty area, with Westbrook putting a perfectly-timed pass right in front of Chapman, who caught Armstrong charging out of the net.

Chapman, left of the net, put the ball into the right corner. Only three minutes earlier, Armstrong had deflected a Chapman attempt which missed just high.

“We’re still making the costly mistakes that lose the game,” Armstrong said afterwards. “We’ve played well for the last three games, but we can’t seem to finish the other team off. And I faced four or five one-on-ones in this game, and the goalie can’t do it alone.”

Nashville roared back to tie the game four minutes after the Express goal, Goran Meskovic scoring on a free kick at 63:45. The Yugoslavia native placed the ball perfectly from 35 yards out, hitting the upper right corner of the net just out of the reach of goalie Tad Delormin.

In the 68th minute, Meskovic got another free kick opportunity, but missed wide right.

For the game, Detroit was credited with 17 shots to Nashville’s 12.