"If we could have gotten out of here with two points instead of one, it gives us a better chance to move up as far as the playoffs. It's a tough one to take when you know you should have won and you didn't."
The Falcons might have left with no points at all were it not for Tade Mirzain's goal on a direct free kick, which tied the match in the 54th minute.
Through a combination of a lapse in the Mustangs' focus and the Falcons' own heads-up play, Mirzain was set up with a clear look at a wide-open goal.
With Muir's defenders out of position, and goalie George Cervantes hugging the left post, the Falcons seized the opportunity to strike.
"We've been talking about doing that — taking a shot before the goalie's even ready," Mirzain said. "The goalie was all the way over, I saw an opening and just took a shot."
Lilavois, noticing the opportunity from the sideline, yelled for his team to initiate the play before the Mustangs could get into position.
"I told the guys after we scored that our soccer IQ just went up a little bit," he said. "On a free kick, you don't have to wait for a whistle, you don't have to wait for 10 yards.
"I think [the Mustangs] were waiting for the whistle, I just happened to see the keeper on the post and I know Tade can put the ball anywhere he wants. It was a great shot."
The Falcons (9-7-5, 4-2-5 in league) attacked relentlessly, but could not break the tie, despite taking 11 second-half shots.
Mirzain arched a shot just over the crossbar with under eight minutes to play, and Christopher Johnson had a good look that curved just wide of the goal in the final seconds.
Cervantes played well throughout the game, particularly in the first half when he tallied seven of his 10 saves on the Falcons' 10 shots.
The Mustangs (5-7-7, 3-2-6) looked to be in good shape when Juvenal Martinez gave them a 1-0 lead on a backward header in front of the goal in the 32nd minute.
With the tie, the Falcons can hope to do no better than tie Burroughs for third place in the event of an Indians loss on Wednesday. The Burroughs-Arcadia result was unavailable at press time.
GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.