Henry's magnificent shot earns much-needed win
September 6, 2014

New York Kansas City
09.06.14 · League

Obviously, this season has not gone as well as we've hoped. Barring a miraculous turnaround (or some kind of flu that sweeps the entire east coast but somehow bypasses the New York area), the team will be in a dogfight for a playoff berth. And yet, while Thierry Henry is wearing red and white? We have a shot.

Such was the case tonight. Two evenly-matched teams, Metro and Kansas City, went at it for 90 minutes. The difference was Henry, whose marvelous goal was the difference as New York earned a hard-fought 2:1 victory. And what a goal it was!... But first things first.

The international absences of Tim Cahill and Ambroise Oyongo meant not only a reshuffling, but a new formation: the return to a 4-3-3 that saw Metro succeed against Montreal. This time, it was Lloyd Sam who stepped to the front, with Eric Alexander, Peguy Luyindula, and Dax McCarty making up the three-man midfield.

Metro opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips was put through on goal, but was brought down just inside the penalty area by KC's Matt Besler. The referee, Hilario Grajeda, pointed to the spot. One strange thing, however: somewhere in the rule book is says that if the last defender brings down an attacker, it should be a red, and yet not even a yellow was given. In any case, Wright-Phillips place the penalty precisely inside the post to his left, and Metro was up.

There were some nervous moments the rest of the half, courtesy of KC's Dom Dwyer. Luis Robles had to stop two breakaways, one by coming up and forcing the shot high, the other by throwing himself down and making a save. On another KC opportunity, Robles ran into Ibrahim Sekagya, and the ball dropped to Dwyer, with nothing but an empty net in front of him. Thankfully for Metro, Chris Duvall saved the shot off the line.

Henry's magnificent moment came in the 52nd. Somehow, the KC defenders decided to leave the French ubermensch alone, as he received a pass from Lloyd Sam. As Henry took a few steps, three KC players stepped up, but just watched with their mouths agape at what followed. The miraculous Henry sent a shot from outside the box that ripped through the upper right corner of the net. It was his 50th goal for Metro. It was pure gold.

And it proved to be needed, as two minutes later, Dwyer finally stopped his failures. Off a KC free kick, Metro failed to mark the attacker, and he slid in front of the defense, redirecting past Robles.

But that was all KC could muster. Metro's defense held their defensive shape throughout, with excellent games from Jamison Olave and Chris Duvall. Now they just need to keep it up... We can't expect Henry to bail them out every game.

Can we?

Lineup: Robles, Miller, Olave, Sekagya, Duvall, McCarty, Alexander, Luyindula, Sam, Wright-Phillips, Henry. Subs: Armando, Sene, Bover.

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