FC Tucson’s chance of making the USL League One playoffs will come down to the last match of the season after its dramatic 2-2 draw against Forward Madison FC at Madison, Wis., on Saturday.
Forward Madison’s prayers for a miracle were answered in the third minute of stoppage time when Connor Tobin nailed the shot to tie the match at 2.
The Men in Black (10-10-7) are presently out of playoff position at No. 7 in the standings with 37 points.
New England Revolution II (11-12-4) is at the last playoff spot at No. 6 also with 37 points. They have the tiebreaker over Tucson in overall wins.
Tucson’s playoff hopes come down to its last match at Kino North Stadium on Saturday night at 7 against the Richmond Kickers FC (11-9-7, 40 points).
A win will put the Men In Black in the postseason for the first time since 2018.
“If someone would have said to me on July 2, we could win our last game and be in the playoffs, I would have taken it hands down,” FC Tucson coach Jon Pearlman is quoted as saying at the team’s website. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of our home fans with everything at stake.”
Tucson’s draw against Forward Madison, giving it a point, is a setback the Men In Black must overcome.
Forward Madison (7-8-12, 33 points) has already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Tucson appeared as if it could take control of the game early behind a penalty kick converted by Charlie Dennis at the 16-minue mark and a goal scored by Kevin Rodriguez (his third goal in two games).
Rodriguez has played well since returning from injury recently. He nailed the goal after receiving the pass from Dennis in the 23rd minute.
Both teams were battling for control until the 50th minute when Forward Madison would finally find the goal.
Aaron Malloy nailed a strike into the back of the net for the 2-1 score in the 50th minute.
Tobin’s goal in stoppage time followed.
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Nathaniel Martinez is an aspiring sports journalist who is a Sahuaro High School graduate and Pima Community College student. He has written for the Aztec Press at Pima. While at Sahuaro, he played football for longtime coach Scott McKee and he wrestled for the Cougars.