Horrid ref can't stop 2-goal comeback vs Revs
September 11, 2004

3:2
MetroStars New England
Magee
Gaven
Glen
Noonan
Twellman
09.11.04 · League

On a night which saw some of the worst refereeing in league history, the MetroStars allowed two early goals and then came back to win 3:2. Cornell Glen scored the gamewinner in the 68th minute after a terrific through ball by John Wolyniec. The result was great, but the performance of referee Abbey Okulaja was despicable. It's amazing that this guy is still employed, but hopefully he won't be much longer after a game like this.

With Amado Guevara out after a red card but Eddie Pope back from US duty and Mike Magee from suspension, Bob Bradley elected to start Fabian Taylor up front. Kenny Arena, Tim Regan, and Sergio Galvan Rey returned to the bench.

Eddie Gaven almost scored straight from the kickoff, taking the ball downfield and having it saved by Matt Reis. But it was the Revs who scored first just five minutes into the game. First, Okulaja whistled Ricardo Clark for a phantom foul not far from the box. Then, he whistled again -- as the ball was in the air; the Metro players didn't move, and the ball landed on Pat Noonan's head, who redirected it into the net.

The Metros complained, but to no avail. And nine minutes later it became 2:0 as Jonny Walker came out with Taylor Twellman attacking. The Rev forward headed the ball over the Metro goalie, and two defenders were too late as it rolled in.

Down two, the Metros rebuilt. Slowly but surely, they began to attack. And in the 31st minute, Gaven was taken down in the box by Troll Franchino, and Okulaja made his one correct move of the day, pointing to the spot. Mike Magee waited for Reis to commit and easily put it in. Just three minutes later, Reis had a fingertip save off a Jeff Parke header that could have tied the game.

When the Revs blocked an Eddie Pope shot off the line two minutes after that, it seemed for certain that the Metros will break through again. And they did in first half injury time. Chris Leitch sent a ball into the box, which Taylor completely miss-hit. Thankfully, the ball went to Gaven, who easily tied the game just before halftime.

Taylor, pretty ineffective for most of the game, was replaced by Glen in the 63rd minute, and the Trinidadian made his presence known just five minutes later. He slowed down to stay onside on a long Wolyniec pass through traffic, then was off to the races, beating Reis low to the left and give the Metros their first lead of the game. Glen had a couple of chances to increase the lead, but misfired on one, and Wolyniec fanned on the other. But on this night three was enough, as Walker made a number of big saves to preserve the win.

We don't often bash refs on this site, but we can't avoid that tonight. Okulaja was atrocious, missing call after call. When Gaven got hit in the face in the box, it was he who got called for a foul. When Parke was brought down, he got yellowed for a handball which supposedly happened when he was lying on the ground. When Glen got hacked down in the box, he got called for diving, and when Rev hack Rusty Pierce pushed Glen in the face, it was Cornell who got a yellow card. And that's just the tip of the iceberg; we can spend the whole day describing Abbey's inadequacies. The biggest applause from the crowd came when Okulaja went down for three minutes after a ball off Tenywa Bonseu hit him in the face late in the game. Not on purpose, we think.

Lineup: Walker, Leitch, Pope, Parke, Bonseu, Clark, Brenes, Magee, Gaven, Taylor, Wolyniec. Subs: Glen.

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