Metro drowns Scum in an unmissable thriller, 5:3
September 23, 2023

DC United New York
Benteke 3 Fernandez 2
09.23.23 · League

Chances are, you didn't watch this game. Why would you? But despite playing in a (literal) tropical storm there was still a bright spot. A chance to beat the Scum (and maybe damage their shot at the postseason) could still mean something.

With Dante Vanzeir's season over, Troy Lesesne gave a forward slot to Tom "Monster" Barlow and let Luquinhas rest in favor of Cameron Harper. In the 16th minute, everything started to go nuts. A crisp pass from Frankie Amaya found an unmarked Harper in the box. His centering pass to Fernandez made it 1:0 Metro.

But a mere three minutes later, Christian Benteke evened the scoring with a header following a corner. It only got worse after a penalty awarded to Metro for a handball was pulled back by VAR. Then, in the 36th, Benteke gave the Scum the lead after a goalmouth scramble.

The sudden squall of scoring wasn't over yet. In the 44th minute, John Tolkin got taken down in the box (or did a very good job of making it look like he was anyway) and was awarded the penalty. For real this time. Fernandez put the ball in the back of the net (again!) and the game was tied.

The Scum weren't done, either. With stoppage time approaching, Benteke shoved Kyle Duncan to the ground as he brought the ball forward. The refs inexplicably ignored the push but awarded a penalty a moment later for an Andres Reyes tackle in the box. Just like that, Benteke got the hat trick, and the Scum took the lead once again.

It didn't last long. Five minutes into stoppage, "Monster" Barlow(?!) took advantage of a corner, redirecting to an unmarked Harper (sound familiar?). This time the young midfielder scored the goal himself.

The crazy continued into the second half. Offensive chances came and went for both sides. Finally, Metro's pressure paid off with a corner. In the 58th, Tolkin sent a perfect ball to the center of the box and Sean Nealis was able to nudge in his first goal in two years with a header.

With the lead in hand, Metro settled in, switching out for defense and settling back. A pair of yellows (to Duncan and Nealis) added to the sense of impending doom. Then Tolkin (because of course) finished it off in injury time, taking a pass from Luquinhas and burying the nail in the coffin for a 5:3 final.

Does the result really matter all that much? Not really. The Scum's chances to see the postseason took a hit. Metro's own playoff hopes are still theoretically alive. It's still been a miserable year with little to recommend it.

But, at least for one night, Metro was a joy to watch. Hope you didn't miss it!

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Duncan, Edelman, Amaya, Harper, Fernandez, Manoel, Barlow. Subs: Luquinhas, Nealis, Stroud, Yearwood, Ndam.

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