The Loyal hoped to end Wednesday night with a celebration. Not only is the party on hold, it's in serious jeopardy with two matches to go.
Landon Donovan's second place club fell 1-0 at Orange County. A win would have clinched a first round playoff game, but instead the loss trims their lead over Orange County to a single point.
The Loyal solidified their first playoff spot over the weekend. The top two squads in the division host their postseason openers.
Orange County took advantage of a yellow card issued to Collin Martin in the 25th minute. Eric Calvillo sent a gorgeous free kick by Austin Guerrero for the lone goal of the evening.
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San Diego applied the pressure in stoppage time. After being rewarded a corner kick in the 97th minute, Callum Montgomery's header was corralled by Patrick Rakovsky. The final whistle blew immediately after.
The Loyal have two matches remaining, including their regular season home finale Sunday at 3:00 p.m. against Oakland Roots. A win, coupled with an Orange County loss in their Saturday visit to Las Vegas would clinch a home playoff match.