Metro neuters Scum in playoff opener, 1:0
November 1, 2015
A dominating defensive performance and a timely goal saw Metro open the playoff campaign with a 1:0 in in DC. It was the first time Metro ever won at the Scum in the playoffs, and gives them a slim, yet important lead heading into next week's home leg.
The starting lineup... we don't have to tell you the starting lineup. What did you expect, Jesse Marsch to change things up? Please. (Unfortunately, next week the story might have to be different.)
It took some time for the teams to settle. After DC took the charge early on, Metro got on their game midway through the first half and did not relent afterwards. Nevertheless, there were few scoring opportunities before the break. The best came when Bradley Wright-Phillips, operating at the penalty spot, spun around to find Mike Grella, but the attacker's ensuing shot was saved by Bill Hamid's ugly face.
In the 51st minute, Damien Perrinelle ended up lying on the grass and had to be carted off. The look on the Frenchman's face was all-telling: this could be the end of his year. Fortunately, Metro has another Frenchman in the wings, Ronald Zubar, right?
"Right" but not be the right word here. For in the 69th minute, Zubar managed, on the same play, to have a key defensive clearance, then follow up with a late, studs-up, two-footed tackle that probably should have earned a red... but it didn't today.
That being said, Zubar's one hack jab was no match for DC's consistent awfulness. It was clear what the Scum strategy was: foul, foul, and foul. Every time Metro had the ball, the Scum's hacks would descend, hacking away. And all those fouls led to free kicks, including one in the 72dn minute. Sacha Kljestan send the ball into the penalty area, Dax McCarty evaded his marker, and used his scarlet-topped head to knock in the goal.
Metro defense did the job the rest of the way. The Scum ended with zero shots on goal (which, we guess, is the league record for futility). So, an excellent start to the playoff campaign... but one must remember that the job is not done yet. And if Perrinelle is indeed out and Metro has to go with Zubar as a starting defender the rest of the way... well, let's just take it one game at a time.
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Perrinelle, Miazga, Zizzo, McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Grella, Sam, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Zubar, Veron.