Dubious PK turns embarrassing loss into tie
June 16, 2007

3:3
New York Kansas City
Angel 2
Mathis
Zavagnin
Movsisyan 2
06.16.07 · League

Through his first 43 goals for the club, Metro never lost a game in which Clint Mathis has scored. They came dangerously close this time, blowing a two-goal lead to Kansas City before a questionable penalty kick in the 90th minute by our "favorite" referee, Abbey Okulaja, gifted Metro the tie. Juan Pablo Angel converted the vital equalizer, and also scored Metro's first. Mathis joined Giovanni Savarese for the Metro all-time all-competition record of 44 goals.

After last week's defensive debacle, Bruce Arena elected to change three defensive starters, but a late injury to Dema Kovalenko meant two new starters and a reshuffling. Jeff Parke, finally healthy to start, did so in his usual central spot, Graham moved to the right as Markus Schopp sat, and Tim Regan made his first start at left back since his return to the club. Seth Stammler took Kovalenko's spot in central midfield.

Metro opened the scoring in the sixth minute, as first Dane Richards hesitated on a goalscoring opportunity, leading to a corner kick. On the ensuing set piece, Dave van den Bergh sent in a perfect cross, and Angel (who else) out-jumped a Wiz defender and bent the ball with his head across the goalmouth and into the net.

In the 15th minutes, a Claudio Reyna cross was saved by Angel from going over the endline, and subsequent passes to Stammler and Richards ended up the latter feeding Mathis, who held up his run, perfectly timing and getting just enough on the ball to give Metro a two-goal lead and tie Savarese's record.

From that point on, the Wiz turned it on, and three huge saves from Ronald Waterreus were not enough, as in the 43rd minute, a long shot from Kerry Zavagnin sailed over the Dutch keeper and into the net.

It was much of the same in the second, as Metro start coming unglued. Three minutes after Carlos Marinelli hit the post in the 67th, a giveaway down the right flank saw a counter-attack that ended with Yura Movsisyan beating Jeff Parke to the ball and redirecting it past Waterreus. And after Marinelli's attempt to chip the Dutchman's barely missed, it was Movsisyan, on a breakaway when Metro had their entire team upfield, getting the brace for a horrible comeback.

But thankfully, Okulaja was in charge of this match, and as horrible as he is, Metro keeps getting results when he officiates matches. So when late-game sub John Wolyniec went down in the box on might have been accidental contact, Abbey hesitated, and pointed to the spot, and Angel got his second and 10th this year (he is only 34 away from Gio and Clint!), and Metro escaped with an undeserved tie. But hell, we take it. Thank you, Abbey.

Lineup: Waterreus, Regan, Mendes, Parke, Graham, Stammler, Reyna, van den Bergh, Richards, Mathis, Angel. Subs: Altidore, Ubiparipovic, Wolyniec.

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