Metro pays back Houston, 2:0
August 10, 2012
Exactly a week ago, Houston run Metro off the field, dominating every facet of the game in a 2:0 victory. Tonight, everything was reversed. Metro was clearly the better team, winning by the same 2:0 scoreline. S. Markus Holgersson scored the game-winner.
"Clever" Hans Backe's big lineup move was shifting Connor Lade to right back. Heath Pearce went to the middle at the expense of Wilman Conde. Joel Lindpere got the start at left midfield, and Sebastian Le Toux on the right, meaning Jan Gunnar Solli sat and Kenny Cooper resumed his usual place up front. Dax McCarty returned from suspension as Teemu Tainio went back to the bench.
Metro had a number of excellent chances in the first half, but failed to covert. Houston keeper Tally Hall tripped, leaving the ball free for a moment. Titi Henry tried to pounce on it, but the ball went straight to Hall. The Frenchman then had a breakaway chance after a perfect through ball by Lindpere. Henry slowed down, surveyed his options, but had his shot parried by Hall. Late in the half, Tim Cahill was left unmarked on a corner kick, but skyed his header wide.
Chances were plenty in the second. A Lindpere cross was almost pushed into his own net by Corey Ashe, but Hall made a save on his defender. Then, in the 61st, a throw-in deep, Roy Miller served a cross to Cahill. The Australian headed it across the goalmouth to Holgersson. The vice captain, parked in front of the net following the preceeding corner kick, knocked the ball in for the Metro lead.
Houston's chances came after the Metro goal. Mac Kandji's continued ineptitude in the penalty area continued, as he missed wide on a breakaway. An Ashe lob fooled Bill Gaudette and rung off the crossbar. Brian Ching pushed a point-blank header wide. The last ten minutes were rather nerve-wrecking as Houston kept pressing, but the defense, led by Pearce and the suddenly worthwhile Holgersson kept them at bay.
The second goal came in injury time. With the entire Houston team caught upfield, Cahill kept it in play on the left sideline, finding Henry. The bearded ubermensch raced alone on goal, passed to an open Solli, and the Norwegian put a capper on this one.
With the victory, Metro moved back to first in the East, pending other results this weekend.
Lineup: Gaudette, Miller, Holgersson, Pearce, Lade, McCarty, Lindpere, Le Toux, Cahill, Cooper, Henry. Subs: Solli, Tainio, Marquez.