Metro dismembers Crew to advance, 3:0
November 11, 2018
Sports is a fickle mistress, especially if you're a Metro fan. So many years of temptation, only to take it away in the cruelest of fashions, time and time again. But this year is different, we kept telling ourselves. This team is special.
It just might be.
Coming into the second leg down 1:0, with no precious road goal to their name, Metro dismantled Columbus, 3:0, dominating in every area of the field. Daniel Royer, still visibly hobbling from his late-season injury, led the way with two goals and one assist.
It was clear what Chris Armas' strategy was from the get-go: the press is back. The Metro midfield swallowed anything Columbus tried to throw at them from the opening whistle. Of course, keeping the clean sheet was only half the battle. Metro had to score on the other end.
And score they did, in the 17th minute. A Sean Davis free kick from the right side was headed in the box by Royer, and landed at the feet of Aaron Long. The defender's blast took the slightest of touches off Alex Muyl and went into the net.
One was not enough, however, and Metro got the go-ahead goal in the 73rd. Bradley Wright-Phillips fed Alex Muyl at the top of the box, who beat one defender, spun around, and split three(!) defenders with a pass. Tyler Adams redirected it onto Royer, who one-timed a low shot for the series lead.
Three minutes later, Royer gave Metro the cushion, taking the ball in midfield, bringing it to the semicircle, and blasting it under the crossbar... and that was all she wrote.
Tonight, it was different, and it was special. Tonight, Metro played -- and won -- a playoff game -- and a playoff series -- on their terms. There was no question which was the better team tonight, and that team played perhaps the most complete, perfectly executed game in its 23-year history.
Let's just hope it carries through to the semifinals and beyond.
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Long, Parker, Murillo, Adams, Davis, Muyl, Royer, Romero Gamarra, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Etienne, Rzatkowski.