Robles, BWP steal one in Tijuana, 2:0
March 7, 2018
Krusty the Clown once called Tijuana "the happiest place on earth". Somehow, tonight Metro is in agreement. Led by two goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and a fantastical effort by Luis Robles, Metro topped Club Tijuana 2:0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
Jesse Marsch elected to make only one change from last week, inserting newly-acquired Tim Parker for Aurelien Collin. The Frenchman did not travel, instead attending an all-important appointment to get his green card.
In the 9th minute, off a Metro corner kick, Marc Rzatkowski intercepted a clearance and got it to Daniel Royer. The Austrian raced down the flank and sent it to the box, where it rebounded off a Mexican defender and landed right at the feet of Wright-Phillips. The hyphenated Englishman roofed it from there.
After the early shock, Tijuana started their onslaught. Robles would have none of that, making a number of saves, including one on a close-range header that he tipped over the bar. Late in the first half, Marc Rzatkowski had to leave the match after suffering an injury. He was replaced by Florian Valot, making his first team debut.
The onslaught continued into the second, with once again Robles up to the task, reaching far to tip the ball wide, then stopping a goalmouth chance. In the 65th, Tijuana looked to have finally scored, but the goal was called back for offside. Two minutes later, Valot sent the ball to the top of box, where BWP fought off three(!) defenders and calmly slotted home his second through traffic.
But it was far from over. In what might have been his best outing as a Metro, Robles ended up with 13 saves, many of the highlight variety. When it was all over, Metro clung to the unexpected two-goal lead. The return leg is not going to be a picnic... let's hope that Harrison can become the happiest place on earth?
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Parker, Long, Murillo, Adams, Rzatkowski, Davis, Muyl, Royer, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Valot, Etienne, Lade.