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Draw with Forward Madison moves FC Tucson closer to the playoffs

By Staff Reports, 10/23/21, 8:30PM MST


A win against Richmond next week will secure postseason berth

MADISON, Wisc. -- The good news is Kevin Rodriguez scored his third goal in two games and Charlie Dennis converted a penalty kick in the first half Saturday night.

The bad news is Forward Madison scored twice in the second half, including in extra time, to force a 2-2 tie.

The good news is FC Tucson still controls its destiny when it comes to the USL League One playoffs. Win next weekend at home against the Richmond Kickers and the team is 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," said FC Tucson coach Jon Pearlman. "We're looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of our home fans with everything at stake."

RELATED: USL League One Standings

FC Tucson is 10-10-7 (37 points) and sits seventh, below the playoff cutline and behind sixth-place New England II (11-12-4, 37 points) on tiebreaker. The top six teams make the playoffs. Richmond is fourth at 11-9-7 (40 points), ahead of North Texas (10-8-9, 39 points).

An FC Tucson win next week would level it with Richmond on points and wins (first tiebreaker), and Tucson would hold the edge on gola differential (second tiebreaker). That would put FC Tucson in the playoffs regardless of what New England II or North Texas do in their games.

Going to Madison, a tough place to play on the road, FC Tucson had a chance to solidify its standing with a win Saturday night.

MATCH CENTER: FC Tucson vs Forward Madison

Dennis put FC Tucson ahead in the 16th minute with his team-leading ninth goal of the season, slotting home one from the penalty spot.

Rodriguez doubled the lead six minutes later, taking a midfield pass from Dennis and out-running the defender.

Forward Madison got one back five minutes into the second half and then forced the draw with a goal on a scramble in front of the net in the 93rd minute.

Even with the tie, Forward Madison (7-8-12, 33 points) was eliminated from playoff contention.

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