Going up against USL League One leader Greenville Triumph SC, FC Tucson rallied from an early goal deficit and managed to take the lead only to see the South Carolina squad nab a goal in stoppage for a 2-2 draw at Kino North Stadium on Saturday night.
“We played inspired,” FC Tucson coach John Galas said. “We came up against a team that is in great form and has had eight days off and we were playing our third in eight days. It’s disappointing we couldn't get the win.”
Greenville dominated possession for the first 25 minutes, rarely letting FC Tucson out of its half. In the 14th minute, the Triumph’s pressure paid off when Lachlan McLean scored his fifth goal of the year.
But the Men In Black slowly grew into the game in the final 20 minutes. They managed a handful of corners and free-kicks in Greenville territory before leveling the match. Roberto Alarcon slashed in a cross from the right side that found the head of Josh Coan for a flash header that accounted for his second goal of the year, beating former FC Tucson goalkeeper Dallas Jaye, in the 45th minute.
The momentum carried over into the second half and FC Tucson struck quickly, netting its second tally in the 47th minute when Giovanni Godoy pounced on a mistake, flicked the ball away from Jaye and beat the former Man In Black to make it 2-1. It was Godoy’s third goal of the season and just the third time that a team had notched two goals against the Triumph.
Down the stretch, FC Tucson (5-6-4, 19 points) had a few chances to extend the lead, including a breakaway by sub Azaad Liadi that was smothered.
Greenville (10-2-2) made the Men In Black pay in the 91st minute when McLean picked up his second goal of the night by heading in a deflected ball that mathematically eliminated FC Tucson from the playoffs.
“It was a hard pill to swallow because of the significant ramifications for the end of the year,” said Galas, whose team ended Greenville’s string of five straight wins. “But I’m proud of the boys.”
FC Tucson, which has picked up two wins and three draws in its last six matches, will wrap up its season on Saturday, Oct. 17, with a home match against Orlando City B at Kino North Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.