Villegas vs Tampa Bay, 2000
History of two-goal comebacks
August 21, 2012

Last weekend's win over Portland sure was a thriller, even if it wasn't pretty. Back and forth action, numerous goalscoring opportunities, huge saves, and, of course, a late Metro goal to turn two-goal deficit into a victory. That sort of a comeback happened for the seventh time in Metro history -- and the first in eight years. So let's recap.

  • May 4, 1996: MetroStars 3, Tampa Bay 3 (2:1 SO)
    The game that forever entered Metro lore. Metro started it existence with three straight defeats, and it looked like Tampa doomed them to fourth after three quick goals early in the second half. But in Roberto Donadoni's first match, the Metros responded with three goals in three minutes; first, a Cle Kooiman own goal off a Tab Ramos free kick, then two by Giovanni Savarese, the second on a gorgeous bicycle kick to tie the game in regulation. Ramos scored the game-winner in the shootout. Until 2011, it was the only time in MLS history that a team came back from three goals to win (yes, we realize the win was a one-point shootout).

  • April 25, 1998: MetroStars 4, San Jose 3
    This game marked the debut of Marcelo Vega, who was supposed to replace Donadoni... He didn't. Metro went down two by the 16th minute, but fought back to take the lead through Jim Rooney, Savarese (penalty kick), and Eduardo Hurtado. San Jose tied it late, and the game looked destined for the shootout. Then, as the clock was counting down the final seconds, Vega found Paul Dougherty who found Alexi Lalas, who, for some reason, was parked in the opponent's penalty area. The red-headed clown didn't miss. San Jose ended the game with ten players, Metro with nine.

  • May 20, 2000: MetroStars 3, Tampa Bay 2
    Another debut! This time of the one and only Clint Mathis, but the future legend did not open his scoring tally on this day. Instead, Mamadouchebag Diallo put the Mutiny on top 2:0 before halftime. But Adolfo Valencia responded with two of his own. The first came off a give-and-go with Tab Ramos, the second off a Mark Chung cross with just two minutes left in regulation. Since the shootout was banned and overtime created, to the extra session we went, and Petter Villegas played hero with a gorgeous blast from outside the penalty area.

  • May 5, 2001: MetroStars 3, DC United 2
    This might just be our favorite Metro game of all time, but for much of the match, it was absolute dreck. Jaime Moreno's two had DC up, and all looked lost. The comeback started in the 79th minutes, after Mathis knocked one in when a corner kick turned into a goalmouth scramble. In the 88th, Rodrigo Faria scored his first for Metro to tie the game. And then, before overtime had a chance to begin, Villegas took the ball up the wing and ended up scoring the miraculous winner. Forever, the Miracle at East Rutherford.

  • August 6, 2003: Columbus 3, MetroStars 4
    Raise your hand if you remember that match. Yeah... we thought so. But on Metro's ride to the 2003 Open Cup final, they defeated three MLS teams, the first being the Crew in the Round of 16. Down two early, Metro got an own goal from Brian Maisonneuve. Maisonneuve then made it 3:1, but Metro roared back, first through Steve Jolley, and then with Eddie Pope tying it in the 77th and winning it in the 86th, heading an Amado Guevara cross. The pair were Pope's only goals for Metro.

  • September 11, 2004: MetroStars 3, New England 2
    14 minutes into the match, Metro was down 2:0. But a Mike Magee penalty and an Eddie Gaven goal tied the game before the half. Then, Cornell Glen was subbed in, took a long John Wolyniec pass, and raced down the wing to score. The game was marred by horrible refereeing from Abbey Okulaja, who was taken out for a good chunk of time by a ball that came off Tenywa Bonseu and hit the ref in the face.

  • August 19, 2012: New York 3, Portland 2
    Portland went up two in the first half, leading to an early benching for Roy Miller and the insertion of Kenny Cooper. Metro would tie it before the break, with Cooper heading in a Jan Gunnar Solli cross, and Tim Cahill scoring his first Metro goal off a deflection that came off a Portland player's hand and could have been ruled a penalty kick. In the second half, Bill Gaudette stopped two breakaways to preserve the tie, and, off a corner kick, another Solli cross landed on the head of Heath Pearce to give Metro the win.
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