Cherubic Assassin slays Houston in injury time
June 2, 2010
A four-game losing streak in league play. A match they dominated, but were lucky to be escaping with a point. A star striker who was stoned twice by the opposing goalkeeper. The script was all too familiar. Until the last minute of injury time, that is. This is when Juan Pablo Angel, the Cherubic Assassin, stepped up to take a 30-yard free kick and miraculously sent it through unharmed the penalty area, tucking it into the left side of the net, out of reach of the diving Pat Onstad. Tonight, the familiar script was torn to shreds. 2:1 Metro.
"Clever" Hans Backe's ever-present 4-4-2 saw Chris Albright step in at right back for the suspended Carlos Mendes, Seth Stammler moving to left midfield for the suspended Roy Miller, and Dane Richards returning to his customary right midfield spot as John Wolyniec got his first league start of the year. Richards didn't last much, however, as early in the first half he was taken out for Tony Tchani because of an injury.
Metro broke the ice in the 15th minute. After an Angel free kick went into the wall, Sinisa Ubiparipovic pounced on a rebound of a Chris Alrbight shot for his first league goal in two years. The Bosnian midfielder had a particularly good game even if you discount the goal; much of Metro play went through Sinisa, as he did his part with smart runs and precise passes.
New York had a chance to double the lead on multiple occasions, but Onstad twice stoned Angel on breakaways. And Metro paid in the 65th, as Brian Ching first supposedly beat the offside trap, and then beat Bouna Coundoul with the ensuing shot.
Three minutes from time, it was Coundoul's time to come up huge, as he robbed Metro reject Dominic Oduro on a breakaway. Then, into injury time, Metro had a golden chance of their own, but Tchani's cross from inside the box was broken apart by a Houston defender.
But there was still time left. And when sub Conor Chinn was taken down way outside the box with just seconds left in the third and final minute of injury time, it was up to Angel to change the outcome with one amazing kick.
What a finish.
Lineup: Coundoul, Borman, Ream, Petke, Albright, Stammler, Lindpere, Ubiparipovic, Richards, Wolyniec, Angel. Subs: Tchani, Hall, Chinn.