In the end, it was back to square one for both.
Abingdon scored two goals in the final 4:47 of regulation, neither team scored in two overtime periods and the boys’ soccer teams settled for a 2-2 draw Friday.
The tie could leave Gate City (10-2-2, 9-1-1 Mountain 7 District) and Abingdon (11-1-1, 9-1-1) knotted at the end of the regular season. Gate City faces Ridgeview Tuesday and Abingdon plays Wise Central on May 10.
If both Gate City and Abingdon win, as expected, they have to meet in a playoff game the following week, most likely May 13 because the district tournament is set to begin on May 15.
The teams would be Mountain 7 co-champs, but the playoff would determine the district’s top seed and host for the district tournament.
Gate City claimed the early momentum Friday, controlling the tempo and keeping on the attack against the Class 3 Abingdon squad.
The action was marred by a muddy field, the result of a couple of downpours, and lightning delays.
“It was a solid game both ways. Both teams played their hearts out,” said Gate City coach Aaron Hillman. “Field conditions were horrible. We went through two lightning delays. It was rough on both teams, so there’s no excuses there.
“We came out and put two in the back of the net and we didn’t stop them from putting two in. We would rather come out here with a win, but we’ll take this tie,” Hillman added.
Matt Johnson gave Gate City a 1-0 lead at the 14:24 mark of the first half. The Blue Devils went up 2-0 on Noah Jones’ goal off a corner kick at the 33:55 mark of the second half.
Abingdon then went on the attack. Goals from Finn Johnson at the 35:13 mark and a 35-yard seeing-eye kick from freshman James Whitted just two minutes later tied the game.
GIRLS TIE, TOO
The girls’ teams of Gate City and Abingdon battled to a 1-1 tie.
Abingdon’s lone score came on a goal from Ava Boltwood at the 30:07 mark of the first half.
In the second half, Gate City tied the game when Grace Mullins fired in a shot 37 minutes into the half.
Neither team could mount a serious scoring attack during the two overtime periods.