Metro survives to win third in a row, 1:0 over KC
April 30, 2011
In the first half, Metro looked unstoppable. In the second, they looked impotent. Thankfully, the lone goal of the match came before the break, as Metro survived Kansas City for its third straight win and its third straight shutout. But oh, did it not look good.
With terrific results in the last two matches, "Clever" Hans Backe kept the lineup intact. 14 minutes into the game, a soft foul was called in the box as Dwayne De Rosario was pulled down. Rafa Marquez stood up to take the penalty kick, stutter-stepped, and hit it directly into the diving Jimmy Nielsen. Two penalty kicks for Metro this season, zero goals.
Thankfully, Marquez didn't wear the goat horns for long, as he was smart enough to take a quick free kick in the 22nd minute. The ball went to Thierry Henry, who one-touched it to De Rosario on the right flank. The Canadian slotted the ball into the penalty area, where Luke Rodgers forced it into the net.
Metro was unlucky to not score again before the break. Attack after attack came, and Nielsen was lucky to get his fingertips on a De Rosario shot that looked destined for the bottom right corner. Tim Ream, who had an excellent game overall, came close to scoring off a corner kick, but his header was saved.
But oh, did things change at the break. Rodgers and Teemu Tainio were taken out as injury precautions, with Juan Agudelo and Carl Robinson stepping in. And Carl Robinson... Well, Carl Robinson, will all due respect, is no Teemu Tainio. While the Finn has been so instrumental for Metro controlling the ball not only in this match, but for the entire season, Robinson... not as much. So the second half was the complete opposite of the first. It was the Wiz with an attack after attack, but the Metro defense held firm. KC's best chance coming when Graham Zusi slammed the ball over the goal, inches in front of an empty net.
But Metro survived. Oh, did they ever, as three minutes into stoppage time, the Wiz broke free on the right flank. Thankfully, Bouna Coundoul smothered the ball as everyone let out a sigh of relief. It wasn't pretty, but, hell, we'll take it.
Lineup: Coundoul, Miller, Ream, Marquez, Solli, Tainio, Lindpere, Richards, De Rosario, Rodgers, Henry. Subs: Robinson, Agudelo, Ballouchy.