Metros open playoffs with Valencia's late OT goal
September 15, 2000 (Official Game Summary)

MetroStars Dallas
09.15.00 · Playoff

Adolfo Valencia scored with seconds remaining in overtime to give the MetroStars a dramatic 2-1 victory over Dallas in Game One of a quarterfinal series at Giants Stadium Friday night. The Metros picked up the first three points in the series and can eliminate the Burn with a win in Game Two.

Valencia, who had been contained by the Burn defense all night, took a feed from Clint Mathis at the top of the box and spun around on Dallas defender Richard Farrer. Valencia then dribbled around Dallas' Lazo Alavanja to the center of the box and slotted the golden goal past Burn goalkeeper Matt Jordan just inside the left post in the 100th minute of play.

Mathis scored the opening goal of the night for the third-seeded MetroStars in the 34th minute.

Dallas had knotted the game at 1-1 in the 67th minute. Striker Ariel Graziani sent a curling ball into the box to an unmarked Bobby Rhine. The Burn forward took a touch to settle and easily put the ball into the upper-left hand corner of the goal to draw Dallas even. The goal was Rhine's first in playoff action and only his second of the season.

Sixth seeded Dallas missed a golden opportunity to tie 12 minutes before Rhine's goal. MetroStars defender Lothar Matthaus clipped down Burn midfielder Antonio Martinez in the 55th minute. Midfielder Oscar Pareja's PK attempt was stopped by MetroStars goalkeeper Paul Grafer, sending the crowd of 14,868 into a frenzy. Grafer, the Metros' third-string 'keeper, dove to his left to smother Pareja's shot from the penalty spot.

After Rhine's tying goal in the 67th minute, both sides had chances to pickup a second goal in a fast-paced second half finish. Dallas best opportunity came from midfielder Chad Deering, who one-timed a rocket from 30 yards out just over the crossbar. The Metros best shot came from midfielder Tab Ramos, who sent a free kick from 25 yards out around a wall and just wide of the right side post.

Mathis gave the MetroStars a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute as the Metros converted on a corner kick opportunity. Midfielder Petter Villegas bent a corner into the box, where defender Mike Petke rose to knock the ball down directly to Mathis at the six. The Metros' striker tapped the ball through a crowd and past Jordan for the first goal of the night.

Mathis has scored seven goals against Dallas in three games this season, including tonight. He had an MLS record five goals against the Burn in Dallas on August 26.

The first half was very physical, setting a tone for the entire series. The teams combined for 41 fouls and four yellow cards in the game overall. The MetroStars defense, which yielded 14 goals over the last four regular season games, held the vaunted Burn attack without a shot on goal in the first half.

The MetroStars put the clamps on Dallas' Graziani for most of the night. The Ecuadorian led all scorers in the MLS Cup 1999 playoffs with five goals in six games.

Lineup: Grafer, Jolley, Matthaus, Petke, Chung, Walsh, Ramos, Villegas, Myers, Mathis, Valencia. Subs: Comas.

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