Nashville Diamonds 2, Georgia Generals 2 (06.13.82)

Nashville 2-2 Georgia

June 13, 1982 — Hale Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)

Scoring Summary
GA — Jose Neto 35′
NASH — Vernon Taylor (Fred Armstrong) 48′
NASH — Brett Simon (Godwin Iwelumo) 75′
GA — Jose Neto (penalty) 75′

Diamonds Snap Losing Streak, Plan Protest

(Nashville Tennessean, 06.14.82)

By Larry Taft

NASHVILLE — The Nashville Diamonds snapped a six-game losing streak last night, but Coach Hector Guevara isn’t smiling.

It isn’t that he wasn’t happy his team managed a 2-2 tie with the American Soccer League-leading Georgia Generals. He found comfort in the improved play of the Diamonds who had been on the short end of the score they had played since a season-opening win.

Guevara found the four-man ASL officiating crew woefully inept.

“The referee had six improper calls. I will file a protest on this game and on the one we played last night (Saturday) against Carolina. This group doesn’t enforce the rules. It has no consistency.”

Guevara wasn’t alone in his assessment of the officiating. Generals’ coach David Chadwick blasted the officials too.

“The way they called the game was disgraceful. It was bad for both teams, not just us. You never knew which way they would point. There were a lot of offsides calls that I didn’t agree with either,” Chadwick said.

“Nashville played better than they did when we played them and beat them 4-1 at our place. That’s the only time I’ve seen them since the season started. We didn’t play all that well. It’s hard to play good soccer on a field as bad as this one.”

Guevara had reason to be pleased with the play of the Diamonds, who are now tied with Carolina for fifth place in the league with 18 points. His club squeezed out a tie against the league’s best team, despite having five starters out of the lineup with either injuries or yellow card suspensions.

I’m very, very happy with the way we played. We went for 110 minutes tonight against the best and most talented team in the league. We played 110 minutes at Carolina too. That’s two good back-to-back games.”

“Our strategy worked tonight. We played very static. They rotate the ball and have so much talent that they would have massacred us if we had tried to go man-to-man, line-to-line with them.”

If the officials didn’t give Guevara a chuckle, maybe a check of the “official” attendance figure would have. While the attendance was listed at 1,239, an actual head count of the crowd at Tennessee State University’s Hale Stadium would have been nearer 250, perhaps less.

The crowd, small though it was, enthusiastically greeted both Nashville goals. The first came 2:50 into the second half when Vanderbilt senior Vernon Taylor took a long kick from goalkeeper Fred Armstrong and whipped his man one-on-one for a goal-scoring kick from 15 yards out.

The Generals had taken a 1-0 lead at 34:58 of the first half on a header by forward Jose Neto.

“I feel good about the goal,” said Taylor, who was a standout in high school at Chattanooga McCallie.

Taylor, who is retaining his amateur status, started for the first time last night. He says he is optimistic about the improved play of the team.

“I think the Carolina game might have been a turning point for us. We played two straight double-overtime games and never gave up.”

Georgia sent the game into overtime on Neto’s second goal of the night, which came on a penalty kick with 15:25 remaining in regulation. Neto, the game’s offensive Most Valuable Player, was ejected 5:49 into the first overtime for a pair of yellow card violations.

Armstrong, the defensive MVP, continued his outstanding play in goal, saving 15 shots. Armstrong’s counterpart, Craig Scarpelli, recorded eight saves. Nashville had just four shots in the first half and 10 in the game. Georgia had 23 shots in the game. The game was unusually rough with Nashville being whistled for 27 fouls and the Generals being called for 20.

Georgia’s top goalkeeper — Graham Tutt — missed the game with injuries received Friday night at Rochester.