Tucson, AZ — Following FC Tucson's 1-1 draw with Ventura County, a Fusion player lay on a training table in the FC Tucson facility while two people stitched his eyebrow up.
But it was nothing compared to the pain FC Tucson players felt after watching a sure win be snatched from them in stoppage time.
"It was a game I thought we should've had," said FC Tucson goalkeeper Dallas Jaye. "I didn't think we managed it the way we should've. We did battle but at the end of the day it wasn't what we needed."
FC Tucson broke through a scoreless draw in the 78th minute when Ricardo Velazco found David Clemens on a free kick.
That goal appeared to be enough as FC Tucson held tightly to its one-goal lead in the third minute of a four-minute stoppage time. But just before the final whistle blew, the Fusion's Connor Dreschler sent in a long ball into the box toward the far post. Then Harrison Delbridge out jumped his mark and headed home the equalizer.
"We made some tactical mistakes but overall to get a win and a draw against Ventura," said FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz. "If you had said we were going to get that at the beginning of the season on this and split with them on the year, I'd have taken it."
The match was delayed by a passing monsoon, but even though the rain and lightning passed, the weather wrecked havoc on play. Strong winds made punts from the goalkeepers unpredictable while long balls and set pieces were almost always off target.
Neither team scored in the opening frame, but Ventura County's John Lopez had the first half's best chance when his screamer smacked the crossbar in the 40th minute.
Just before the end of the half, Ventura County's Dylan Riley received a red card for bringing down Ricardo Velazco and the Fusion faced the entire second half playing a man down.
Despite the advantage, FC Tucson had trouble creating any dangerous chances in the attacking third.
"I think we weren't focused enough," said FC Tucson defender Edgar Reyna. "I know we were a player up but I guess mentally we weren't in the game. We probably thought it was the same game (as an 11v11 game) and we didn't take advantage going forward."
Even though FC Tucson missed out on another three points, the draw coupled with a win from Friday does make the road to the playoffs a little bit easier. FC Tucson trails Ventura County by six points with three league matches remaining. The teams who finish in the top two of the Southwest Division reach the PDL playoffs.
FCT:'78, 23-David Clemens (9-Ricardo Velazco)
VCF:'93, 28-Harrison Dalbridge (19-Connor Dreschler)
Statistics FCT VCF
Shots 14 13
Saves 4 8
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