Late Cahill goal ties Revs, earns playoff berth
October 5, 2013

2:2
New York New England
Espindola
Cahill
Nguyen
Fagundez
10.05.13 · League

On the surface, what's not to like about this result? Metro needed a tie to clinch a playoff berth -- they got that tie, 2:2, and in such a dramatic fashion... And yet, one can't help but think of opportunities lost. This is a game Metro dominated, this is a Metro should have won. Supporters Shield? Oh, it's not impossible, but at this point, we might as well forget about it.

The two lineup changes from last week were the obvious ones -- Jamison Olave and Thierry Henry were re-inserted onto the friendly grass of Red Bull Arena at the expense of Ibrahim Sekagya and Peguy Luyindula.

Metro completely dominated the first half. The Revs could not do anything offensively. When they got the ball through, ex-Metro Juan Agudelo kept doing what he does best: slipping. The lone goal of the period was scored by Fabian Espindola on a terrific individual effort. First, he stole the ball from the dumbfounded Rev defender at the left sideline. Then, the Argentine took it to the middle and slotted it to the bottom right corner from just outside the box.

Even though the goal came off a turnover, Metro showed an offensive fluidity we came to expect as of late. There were numerous chances to extend the lead, but that final touch was just not there. Henry's cross was earmarked for Espindola, but woodwork was hit. In the second half, Henry did well to give himself space and curled a shot that Rev keeper Matt Reis had to stretch to punch out.

On the other end, the Revs could do little. Midway through the second half, Luis Robles did make a huge stop from close range, but that attack was a drop in the Rev bucket of ineptitude. It looked like Metro was gonna run off 1:0 winners... until, in the 85th minute, the ball hit Olave's chest.

Note to referee Fotis Bazakos: the chest is not a part of the arm. They should teach that on day 1 of refereeing school. Nevertheless, a penalty was given, and Lee Ngyuen placed it to the bottom right corner. Robles guessed right, but could not get to it.

Right after the goal, the Revs' Andy Dorman got a straight red for a terrible tackle on Eric Alexander, and Metro looked to have new life. But then, just as we entered injury time, David Carney did his best Roy Miller impression, and was stripped right outside the Metro penalty area. Diego Fagundez walked in, Robles could do nothing, and the cries of "same old Metro" started to fill our shaking head.

Well, on this night, same old Metro came fighting back. Seven minutes into injury time, a handball on Fagundez earned Metro a free kick close to the left side of the endline. The ball was sent in, Reis punched it out... but who was left unmarked by the dumb Revs? Tim Cahill, only the best header of the ball in league history. This one was a floater that sailed over everyone and into the top of the net. Metro had their playoff berth.

So, as much as we don't like this result, clearly, it could have been worse. We'll take it?

Lineup: Robles, Carney, Olave, Holgersson, Kimura, McCarty, Steele, Sam, Cahill, Espindola, Henry. Subs: Alexander, Luyindula, Akpan.

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