10-man Metro fights back to draw in Philly, 1:1
May 14, 2022

Philadelphia New York
Gazdag Luquinhas
05.14.22 · League

Well, road perfection is no more, but that's... okay? All things considering, Metro earned a terrific road point tonight, going down a man early and fighting back for a feisty 1:1 draw at Philadelphia.

Injuries and suspensions forced Gerhard Struber to a 4-4-2, with Dylan Nealis stepping into the middle for day-to-day Aaron Long. Dru Yearwood replaced the suspended Cristian Casseres. Patryk Klimala returned to the starting lineup, switching places with Lewis Morgan on the COVID list.

A back-and-forth first half saw Philly with the best chance, coming after Carlos Coronel couldn't hold on to the ball. Thankfully, the follow-up effort went wide. Up front for Metro, the Klimala-Tom Barlow pairing (well, you can't really call it a pairing, since the two are never on the same page) was simply failing, so Struber decided to insert Cameron Harper for Klimala at the break, going back to single-forward mode.

The Worms scored less than two minutes into half as first Dru Yearwood, and then Sean Nealis, failed to clear the ball cleanly. Coronel had no chance on a shot by Daniel Gazdag. A few minutes later, a mad scramble in front of the Metro net somehow saw the ball not go in. This time, Nealis did well to clear a goal-bound ball.

It all looked doomed in the 55th minute, when Dylan Nealis was sent off for his second yellow, a needless foul on the sideline at midfield. But Metro kept its composure, and evened the game 11 minutes later. Luquinhas started the play by laying it off to Omir Fernandez, who found Harper on the right wing. The youngster sent a diagonal low ball back to Luquinhas, who roofed it into the net.

Ten minutes before end of regulation, the Worms looked to have jumped ahead. Coronel made a terrific save on a shot off a free kick, but let the rebound drop for an easy conversion. It is not clear why it took VAR so long to spot the obvious offside, but when it did, the game remained even.

Coronel made a huge save in injury time to preserve the point, as Metro defended non-stop through the agonizing seven additional minutes. At the end, road perfection was not gonna last forever, and this was not a bad way to end it. Now let's hope we can end home imperfection as well...

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Nealis, Edwards, Amaya, Yearwood, Fernandez, Luquinhas, Barlow, Klimala. Subs: Harper, Edelman, Pendant, Ryan.

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