Another blown lead leads to Open Cup exit, 2:1
June 29, 2016

Philadelphia New York
Pontius 2 Grella
06.29.16 · Open Cup

This is becoming a scary theme. For the third straight game, Metro couldn't keep a second-half lead. This time, it cost them a tournament, as they dropped a 2:1 decision to Philadelphia in the Open Cup.

Jesse Marsch trotted out pretty much a first-choice lineup; the one major difference was Ryan Meara in goal, for his first meaningful minutes in two years. Aurelien Collin returned for Gideon Baah, Sal Zizzo for Chris Duvall, Lloyd Sam for Alex Muyl. Felipe Martins gave way to Sean Davis.

And for the first half, Metro thoroughly dominated. Unfortunately, they only got one goal: Mike Grella off a poor clearance in the 17th minute. There were numerous opportunities to pad the lead, but often those were thwarted by Metro itself, who decided to go for the extra pass as opposed to the shot. But this looked too easy; the two teams looked to be in different leagues.

After the break, the game turned. In the 55th, a through ball found Chris Pontius, who beat Meara. Five minutes later, Ponitus once again got past the Metro defense, and the Worms got the lead they would not relinquish. All the dominance of the first stanza seemed eons ago, as Metro failed to regroup, leaving the Open Cup not with a bang, but a whimper. (Unless you count Marsch's ejection in injury time for arguing a moronic foul call. That was a bang... but a rather pointless one.)

Well, at least this won't hurt with fixture congestion?

Lineup: Meara, Lade, Collin, Zubar, Zizzo, McCarty, Davis, Kljestan, Grella, Sam, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Martins, Veron, Bilyeu.

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