9-man Metros sunk by Viking
February 25, 2004 (Official Game Summary)

Viking MetroStars
02.25.04 · La Manga

The MetroStars dropped a 1-0 result to Viking of the Norwegian First Division in La Manga Cup Group A action today at La Manga Club Resort in La Manga, Murcia, Spain. MetroStars rookie goalkeeper Zach Wells made 10 saves, but Viking midfielder Peter Kopteff scored the game-winner in the 75th minute to down the Metros and give the Metro a 0-1-0 record in Group A.

In the 75th minute, Viking second-half substitute Andrč Danielson dribbled the ball down the right wing and maneuvered away from Metros non-roster invitee David Hayes. The 19-year-old midfielder sent in a cross that was deflected in the middle of the box. The ball squirted out to Kopteff as he ran onto it from 15 yards away from the goal. Wells came out to cut down the angle, but the Finland international blasted a shot that found the upper right corner to put Viking up 1-0.

The MetroStars were dealt a blow in the 55th minute, when defender Craig Ziadie was issued his second yellow card of the game, which becomes a red card due to an intentional handball. The Jamaican international tried to cut off a Viking pass up the left wing, when he reached out and clearly hit the ball with his shoulder. The Swedish referee quickly issued the ejection due to a handball and the Metros had to finish the game with 10 men.

The Metro were shown red again late in the game when Honduran playmaker Amado Guevara was given his marching orders from the referee, in the 90th minute. Guevara had fouled Viking's Bjarte Aarsheim, but did not give the ball back right away. The referee stepped in and gave Guevara his second yellow card of the game and the Metros were reduced to nine men. Both Guevara and Ziadie are eligible to play in the Metros' second La Manga Cup match on Saturday, due to tournament rules.

A stellar performance from Wells stabilized the Viking offense, which included former Manchester United forward Erik Nevland. In the 64th minute, Kopteff sent a cross into the box finding the head of forward Hannes Sigurdsson. The Iceland international flicked a shot at goal, but the 22-year-old Wells leaped and parried the shot over the crossbar. The California native continued to thwart Viking, including two more diving saves with one coming on a 10-yard shot by Nevland.

The Metros started the game strong taking the advantage in the midfield. In the 30th minute, midfielder Eddie Gaven found 16-year-old rookie Michael Bradley at the top of the Viking box. Bradley ripped a low shot towards the right corner, but it hit the outside of the post and went out for a goal kick. In the 89th minute, rookie forward Olivier Occean gathered a pass deep in Viking territory and dribbled to the end line. He drew three defenders before laying off a pass to midfielder Joselito Vaca just inside the 18-yard box. The Bolivian international blasted a shot that went just over the crossbar.

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