It was a heartbreaking finish to the season for the Fresno Fuego on Tuesday night at Chukchansi Park, where the Premier Development League soccer team lost 3-2 to the Burlingame Dragons in extra time and end their season in the first round of the playoffs.
Tied 2-2 in the final minutes of the second half, substitute Joao Da Rosa kept hope alive for the Fuego (10-4-1) with a goal off a corner kick in the 88th that ignited the crowd of 4,972 fans.
But the Dragons (8-5-2), who finished the regular season as the Central Pacific Division runner-up to Fresno, exacted their revenge in the first 15-minute half of extra time on Christian Thierjung’s winner.
It was the fourth meeting of the season between the clubs, with Burlingame picking up its third win in the series to advance to the Western Conference semifinals Friday in Tucson, Ariz.
Christian Chaney’s turn-and-finish put the Fuego in front in the 30th minute on an assist from Renato Bustamante. The Dragons, however, turned on the pressure behind Corey Baird’s goal in the 37th and go-ahead assist to Khalid Arramdani just four minutes later.
Premier Development League Playoffs
Burlingame 3, Fresno 2 (ET)
- First half: 1, F, Christian Chaney (Renato Bustamante) 30th. 2, B, Corey Baird (Davi Ramos) 37th. 3, B, Khalid Arramdani (Baird) 41st.
- Second half: 4, F, Joao Da Rosa (Joey Chica) 88th.
- Extra time: 5, B, Christian Thierjung (Gabe Silveira) 97th.
- Shots: Dragons 9, Fuego 8. Corners: Dragons 7, Fuego 13. Saves: Dragons 5 (Nico Corti), Fuego 6 (Agustin Rey). Fouls: Dragons 18, Fuego 13. Yellow cards: Fuego 2 (Alvaro Nogales 41st, Abraham Campos 59th); Dragons 5 (Josh Smith 41st, Ramos 56th, Jamael Cox 104th, Thierjung 114th, Irvin Somera 119th).
- Records: Dragons 8-5-2, Fuego 10-4-1.