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Costa goal is enough for Chicago to grab title 1-0 over Bucks.

SAGINAW, Mich. (Saturday, August 12, 2000) -- Striker Rodrigo Costa opportunely netted the evening’s only goal in the second half, giving the defending champion Chicago Sockers a 1-0 triumph over the Mid Michigan Bucks in the Premier Development League final before 1,220 fans at White Pine Stadium.

It was a match between the two fourth-division powers who upset first-division Major League Soccer teams in the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

In the 61st minute, there was a scramble in front of the Mid Michigan net which pulled the Bucks’ goalkeeper Eric Pogue off his goal line. Chicago’s Hamid Mehreioskouei came away with the ball at the right corner of the six-yard box and slid a centering pass to Costa for a seven-yard strike into the open net.

With the game winding down, Mid Michigan, the regular-season titlist, pushed forward more and more as the clock wound down, maintaining a heavy presence in the attacking third and peppering Sockers keeper Adam Throop with dangerous crosses and shots on goal.

Throop was up to the task and finished the four-game postseason with a clean slate, earning the national championship tournament’s "Most Valuable Player" award.

"After we scored the goal, they pushed up," said Sockers coach Brett Hall, "The strength of this team is the back line. They were magnificent tonight, as they have been all year long."

The championship was the third straight for Hall in the umbrella United Soccer Leagues, including leading the Chicago Stingers to the D3 Pro League crown in 1998.

"I was just so proud of these guys," Hall said. "They showed a lot of heart, and Mid Michigan did too. These are two of the best teams in the league by far, and either one could have won. If I said anything else, I would be lying. I would not have been ashamed to lose (the final)."

In the third-place match, Ernest Inneh scored a goal in a quiet first half, then exploded for three more late in the game to lead the Westchester (N.Y.) Flames from a early 1-0 deficit to a 5-2 victory over the Yakima (Wash.) Reds.

In yesterday’s semifinals, Chicago blanked Westchester 5-0 and Mid Michigan got by Yakima 5-2.

Chicago Sockers 1, Mid Michigan Bucks 0

Lineups: Chicago - Adam Throop, David Lara, John Collins, Alvin Hudson, Matt Bobo, Jason Acres (Jason Baker 68), Eric Wilson, Jimmy Harkness, Joe Carver (Denny Clanton 74), Rodrigo Costa, Lee Paul (Hamid Mehreioskouei). Mid Michigan - Christian Cuomo, Valentino Scicluna, David Hall, Adam Heineman, Joe Malachino, Viggo Anthonson (Sam Piraine 69), Justin Detter, Chad Schomaker, Ousmane Coulibaly, Paul Snape, Boniventure Maruti.

Scoring: Costa (Mehreioskouei) 61.

Shots: Chicago 7, Mid Michigan 13. Saves: Chicago 5, Mid Michigan 4. Corner kicks: Chicago 3, Mid Michigan 14. Fouls: Chicago 10, Mid Michigan 15. Offside: Chicago 0, Mid Michigan 0. Yellow card cautions: Mid Michigan - Malachino 9, Snape 26, Scicluna 60.

Attendance: 1,220 at White Pine Stadium in Saginaw, Mich.

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