FC Cincinnati squeaks in a goal to tie Harrisburg City Islanders 1-1

Posted at 12:58 AM, Sep 13, 2017

HARRISBURG, Penn. -- FC Cincinnati narrowly dodged a loss Tuesday night when Jimmy McLaughlin scored in the final seconds of the Orange and Blue's match against the Harrisburg City Islanders, ending the game in a 1-1 tie.

"The character of the team was evident in the fight to the end and the boys deserved their last-minute equalizer," head coach Alan Koch said.

The fight was hard on both sides of the match -- the Harrisburg City Islanders' Jonny Mendoza took nearly an hour to score a goal for his team after goalie Mitch Hildebrandt made two saves in the first 40 minutes of play.

McLaughlin took six shots throughout the game, but it was Djiby Fall who finally helped McLaughlin's ball find the back of the net before the clock ran out.

FC Cincinnati will return home Saturday for a crucial regular-season home finale against the New York Red Bulls II in front of a United Soccer League record crowd at Nippert Stadium.

The club announced last week that ticket sales for the 7 p.m. match had already exceeded the team’s league record of 25,308 set Aug. 5 against Orlando City B.

With only five matches to go, a playoff berth could be at stake. FC CIncinnati, with 36 points, needs to finish in the top eight in the Eastern Conference and is currently tied for seventh with Orlando City B - two points behind Red Bulls II, so three points would be crucial.

Bethlehem Steel is ninth with 34 points but has played two fewer matches.

FC Cincinnati finishes it schedule with four road matches: at 11th-place St. Louis Sept. 23, at second-place Charlotte Sept. 29, at Ottawa Oct. 8 and at Toronto Oct. 14.

SEE the USL standings.