With the scoreboard clock expired, Tampa Bay’s Eric Backman scored seconds into injury time for a 3-2 victory Saturday night at Tampa Stadium, leaving the Salsa in fourth place and with no chance for a home game during the American Professional Soccer League playoffs.
The Salsa, 12-11 with 108 points, has one game remaining today. Tampa Bay finished third at 12-12 with 118 points.
Paulinho, who won the league scoring title, scored the Salsa’s first goal on an assist from Thor Lee, then returned the favor for the Salsa’s second score.
The Salsa finishes the regular season today at Ft. Lauderdale, playing in a game that has no bearing on the race. The Salsa will meet Vancouver or Colorado in the semifinals next weekend. Colorado trails Vancouver by seven points heading into today’s game at Toronto but could finish first by winning in regulation (worth six points) and scoring at least two goals (one point each).