Metro's house of cards collapses, 2:1
November 23, 2014

New York New England
Wright-Phillips Bunbury
11.23.14 · Playoff

It's not over. There are still 90 minutes of soccer left. 90 minutes in which anything can happen. Sure, Metro will have to win in New England, and likely win by more than a goal. It's not impossible, is it?

How did we get here? To start with, Metro just couldn't finish. Chance after chance was generated, but all they could score was one goal, and that one looked lucky to end up in the back of the net. It came in the 27th minute, with Metro on the wrong end of a 1:0 scoreline. Ambroise Oyongo, starting for the suspended Roy Miller, did well to keep the ball in play, sending it forward to Peguy Luyindula. The Frenchman took it inside the box and placed a shot that was saved by Rev keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. The rebound landed back with Luyindula, who proceeded to send it off the crossbar. Thankfully, Bradley Wright-Phillips was right there, and headed in the equalizer.

The rest of Metro chances? They were a plenty, especially in the first half. But that killer finishing instinct, so present through most of the year, was just not there. Wright-Phillips missing an open header, inches from goal in first half injury time, exemplified Metro's ineptitude.

This was all of Wright-Phillips we will see this series. Why? Because referee Allen Chapman decided to make this game a showcase for his ineptitude. He started by missing two blatant early penalty kicks. First, Luyindula was shoved down in the box. Then, Wright-Phillips, waiting for a cross, was hit with an extended arm. Somehow, those weren't fouls. Somehow, Metro was called for six yellow cards, including one on Wright-Phillips for... encroachment? The Englishman's second yellow of the playoffs meant that he has to miss Metro's next game, making the team's task that much harder.

The sad thing is that the Metro defense actually played very well. They couldn't do anything on the Revs opener in the 17th minute, when Teal Bunbury curved a shot from outside the box into the upper left corner. But from that point on, the Revs couldn't do anything offensive. There was a sequence off a corner kick when Luis Robles made a great save and then forced the close-range follow-up high, and Richard Eckerlsey did have an idiotic giveaway inside his own box, but that was that. The game looked destined to end 1:1.

It didn't. In the 85th minute, it all went horribly wrong, as the Revs went downfield, Metro defense couldn't catch up, and Jermaine Jones tapped in from close range. (This was the same Jones who should have been ejected in the first half for a horrendous scissors tackle on Dax McCarty.) The sold-out crowd went home disappointed.

So now we face the daunting task of going to New England, the place where Metro hadn't won for 12 years... Until this year, that is, when they got a 2:0 result, the exact scoreline which, if obtained next week, will make them advance. So, no, it's not over...

Lineup: Robles, Oyongo, Olave, Sekagya, Eckersley, McCarty, Alexander, Luyindula, Sam, Henry, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Cahill.

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