Late goal nets Charlotte FC a tie, but playoff chances end

CHARLOTTE — A late offensive onslaught brought Charlotte FC even, 2-2, with the Columbus Crew in Wednesday night’s penultimate match of the MLS regular season. But the result wasn’t enough to keep the club alive in the race for the postseason.

The matchup of the two middle-of-the-table foes first kicked off at Bank of America Stadium more than two months ago, but was postponed by severe weather before being resumed at the 17-minute mark.

Columbus scored the match’s first two goals and attempted to cling to the lead until the ref’s final whistle, while Charlotte saved its best till the end.

Columbus took a lead in the 36th minute on a long free-kick goal from midfielder Lucas Zelarayán. After halftime, Crew midfielder Luis Diaz buried a right-footed shot in the 54th minute to give Columbus a 2-0 lead and seemingly put Charlotte’s season on ice.

Four minutes later, Charlotte forward Daniel Rios had other ideas. After scoring four goals in his last outing -- including the club’s first hat trick -- Rios continued his hot streak heading a ball from Yordy Reyna into the back of the net to bring the home team within a goal, 2-1.

Charlotte FC went on the attack for the remainder of the match, making their presence felt on the opponent’s side of the field for the final 30 minutes.

>> Charlotte FC’s final match of the season is Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Watch it LIVE on TV64, or stream it on WSOC Now.

The push paid off in extra time when Rios flicked a ball to forward Andre Shinyashiki who headbutted home the equalizing goal.

Despite the inspiring comeback, Charlotte FC needed a full three points to keep any chance of making the postseason alive.

Wednesday night’s loss eliminated Charlotte FC from playoff contention in the club’s inaugural campaign.

Charlotte FC will wrap up its inaugural season on the road on Sunday against the New York Red Bull at 2:30 p.m. on TV64.

(VIDEO: Behind the scenes: Golden Knights parachute team descends onto BofA Stadium)