Road win in Kansas sends Metro top, 3:2
August 3, 2013

Kansas City New York
08.03.13 · League

With Tim Cahill out for the next three weeks, Mike Petke had a decision to make. He could move Eric Alexander from the right to the middle and insert Lloyd Sam, or go the unconventional route. Petke did the latter, starting defender Ibrahim Sekagya in midfield on his debut, while keeping the rest of the lineup in tack. Part of that plan meant giving Sam a chance during the last half hour of the game, and it turned out beautifully. Metro took on the Kansas City onslaught and scored on three breakaways -- Sam integral in two -- to beat the home-standing Wiz, 3:2.

The final shot tally of Kansas City 25, New York 5 tells the story of the match. The Wiz owned the possession game, and attacked in waves, especially in the first half. Metro was resigned to counter-attacking, and it almost paid off in the 15th minute, when Titi Henry broke free on the right, and found Jonny Steele on the opposite side. The Irishman's shot was blocked by Jimmy Nielsen.

The next opportunity presents itself in the in the 27th. Dax McCarty did well to spring Steele on the left side. Steele, with the defender trailing, walked on net, and beat Nielsen to the short side to open the scoring.

The goal energized Kansas City, and the Wiz's attack, already potent, started to become feverish. After Claudio Bieler somehow missed the open net with a point-blank header, the home team did manage to tie the game. In the last minute of the first half, Luis Robles made a save off a Soony Saad header, but the ball bounced to Kei Kamara, who did not miss from close range.

Petke inserted Sam in the 60th, and the move immediately paid off. Three minutes after coming on, the Englishman found Fabian Espindola even with the last defender. The Argentine made his way into the penalty area, switched the ball to the left foot, and slotted past Nielsen. Then, in the 69th, with most Wiz players on Metro's half of the field due a set piece, a long Robles throw found Steele on the left. This time, the goalscorer played provider, lobbing the ball to Sam, who faked out a defender, then smashed home his second league goal of the year.

With a two-goal lead Metro looked good to hold on; the best Wiz chance rung off the woodwork. Alas, two minutes into injury time, Dom Dwyer brought the Wiz within one from a close-range header. A minute later, Kosuke Kimura, who came in for injured Sam, had to be wheeled off the field after suffering a concussion, and Metro was down to ten. They held on for what proved to be ten minutes of injury time, preserving a fantastic victory over East-leading Kansas City.

Formerly East-leading, we should say, for the win pushed Metro top!

Lineup: Robles, Miller, Olave, Holgersson, Barklage, Sekagya, McCarty, Steele, Alexander, Espindola, Henry. Subs: Sam, Luyindula, Kimura.

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