Metro keeps pace in Shield, tops Worms 1:0
October 21, 2018

Philadelphia New York

Romero Gamarra
10.21.18 · League

An unusually vigorous meeting with would-be rivals Philadelphia ended with Metro grinding out a 1:0 victory. The result is hardly surprising, but how it transpired was considerably less so. Whether it was due to the absences of regulars Kemar Lawrence and Danny Royer or simply the fatigue of a long campaign, the hosts gave Metro all they could handle for most of the first half.

The game was broken up seemingly minute-by-minute due to numerous fouls from both teams, appropriate for a game played on a Sunday afternoon in autumn. Typically incompetent referee Ted Unkel struggled throughout to determine the fault and severity of the infractions, leading to a game featuring a series of significant physical confrontations.

Both defenses featured in this match, and as usual Metro's was fantastic. Aaron Long and Tim Parker were in fine form, the latter setting the tone early with a robust shoulder charge on diminutive Worms attacker Fabrice-Jean Picault. Connor Lade also deserves recognition for his excellent shift in Lawrence's place, making the Philadelphia right flank an attacking cul-de-sac.

The game was headed for a well-deserved draw when VAR saved the day. Sean Davis' corner kick was parried in the Worms box in the 65th minute in a manner that immediately drew protests from Metro players in the area. A minute later after (finally) handing out a yellow card for a classless Picault kick on Luis Robles, Unkel was summoned to review the previous corner and correctly awarded a penalty. Kaku stepped up to the spot, sent Andre Blake the wrong way and struck the open net.

Just like that, Metro absconded with the result they needed from the banks of the Delaware. One game remains in the regular season, against headless and hapless Orlando. The chance to for a staggering 14th home victory and the top spot in the league table is at stake.

If there is any justice in this game, this time next week we'll be toasting Metro's third Supporters' Shield.

Lineup: Robles, Lade, Long, Parker, Murillo, Adams, Davis, Rzatkowski, Muyl, Romero Gamarra, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Etienne, Ivan, Casseres.

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