BIRMINGHAM, United States (CMC) — Reggae Boy Neco Brett scored a dramatic, injury-time winner as Birmingham Legion came from behind to beat Tulsa FC 3-2 in the United Soccer League Championship on Friday night.
The 30-year-old forward eluded his marker and nodded in from eight yards in the second of four added minutes at Protective Stadium, to hand the Alabama-based Legion their first win of the newly minted season following last weekend's draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Tyler Pasher opened the scoring for Legion in the fourth minute to help the hosts to a 1-0 lead at the break, before the game exploded in the second half.
Rodrigo da Costa levelled in the 49th over before Marcus Epps gave the visitors the lead five minutes later, but Pasher struck again in the 83rd to square the game.
With time ticking away Ben Reveno floated a diagonal ball into the box where Brett pounced to beat goalkeeper Michael Nelson going to his left.
"When I look at the game, we still have so much to get better at as far as keeping the ball and causing them more problems," said Legion Head Coach Tommy Soehn.
"But there's defining moments in the season and the little challenges you have to get through and character builders. And, obviously, we're still trying to get Enzo [Martinez] and Neco fit enough and [Kasim] Prosper, and little by little they're coming back.
"But having special moments like that and winning games in crucial moments, those are things that keep you going and drive you."
Legion enjoyed a superb start when Pasher raced on to Alex Crognale's deadly through ball before passing into an empty goal, after rounding the advancing Nelson.
Trailing at the break, Tulsa hit back when da Costa pivoted on Blaine Ferri's short pass and slotted home from the top of the box; and they went in front moments later when Epps curled a beauty into the far corner from 15 yards out.
Pashner thought he had at least earned a point for his side when he beat four defenders in a mazy run and drove a low short past Nelson from 20 yards out, but Brett popped up at the end with his heroics.
The club's leading scorer in the 2020 and 2021 campaigns, Brett spent last season at New Mexico United before returning to Birmingham in January.