The Mutiny ties Los Angeles 4-4 despite the forward's team scoring record for a game.
By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 10, 2001
TAMPA -- This is how bad things have been for the Mutiny lately: After being short-handed and shut out in its past two games, forward Mamadou Diallo returned from a two-game suspension and set a team record with four goals -- and it still didn't win.
Los Angeles rookie Brian Mullan scored his first two goals of the season, including the tying goal in injury time, and Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis made two big saves late as the teams battled to a wild 4-4 draw in front of 6,056 at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday night.
Tampa Bay (2-3-1) stretched its winless streak to three games. Los Angeles (3-2-1) is unbeaten in four.
"It was a roller-coaster game written in three acts," Mutiny coach Alfonso Mondelo said.
The first act had the Mutiny falling behind by two in the first three minutes. Mullan scored on an assist from Cobi Jones 39 seconds in, the fastest the Mutiny has allowed a goal. Exactly two minutes later, Jones assisted on a Sasha Victorine goal from 10 yards.
"At that point, the way things have been going for us, I didn't think we would (get a tie)," Mutiny midfielder Eric Quill said. "The crowd's against us, so we need to score a goal any way we can."
Act two started in the 15th minute, when Diallo started a team-record streak of three goals in 22 minutes. The first came after Quill barely beat Reis to a pass from Ali Curtis and dove feetfirst to nudge the ball to Diallo.
Diallo buried the shot from 10 yards to make it 2-1. Over a minute later, Diallo scored one of the most creative goals this season.
Josh Keller lofted the ball to Diallo, who beat defenders Danny Califf and Simon Elliott. Diallo settled the ball near the goal box, which allowed Califf to recover. After a few dribbles, Diallo stopped and curled a shot from 8 yards around Califf and into the right corner.
At 1 minute, 16 seconds, it was the fastest a Mutiny player has scored twice.
Diallo's last goal of the first half came in the 37th minute. Carlos Valderrama led Diallo with a long pass down the middle of the field. After racing past two defenders, Diallo shot from 15 yards. It is the first hat trick Los Angeles has given up, a span of 175 games.
In the third act, Los Angeles tied the score in the 62nd minute when Mutiny goalkeeper Scott Garlick was cited for pulling down Jones in the penalty box. Greg Vanney made the penalty kick.
Then came Diallo's apparent winner in the 78th minute. Jair stole an errant clearance and lofted the ball toward Diallo. Diallo and Califf kicked it simultaneously from 25 yards; it soared over Reis.
Reis dived to save a Diallo shot in the 90th minute. In injury time, Mullan scored after a Ritchie Kotschau header fell at his feet 15 yards from the goal. In the second five-minute overtime, Reis dived to save a Diallo shot from 5 yards.
"We didn't think there should've been a third minute (of injury time) added on," Mondelo said. "We thought a minute or two was plenty. That being said, we still shouldn't have given up a goal."
Diallo wasn't overjoyed about his effort: "I had four goals, and I should've had six. I am paid to score goals, and I felt like I didn't do my job. Anywhere else in the world, if you score four goals, you win. But in America, anything can happen."
NOTE: The Mutiny acquired former Galaxy midfielder Brian Kelly off waivers. Kelly, 26, is a five-year MLS veteran.