Metro tops Salt Lake after surreal finish, 4:3
July 27, 2013

New York Salt Lake
Espindola 2
Saborio 3
07.27.13 · League

What a finish... What a finish, what a finish!

Midway through the first half, with Metro up two, Titi Henry made something out of nothing. He made a run into the penalty area, split three defenders, and placed a pinpoint shot that avoided the goalkeeper. If that goes in, the game is likely over. Metro's dominance on both sides of the ball was complete. Up three, it's goodnight nurse for Salt Lake.

Well, that didn't happen. Henry's shot bounced off the goalpost, the lead stayed at two, and we were treated to one of the most amazing finishes in the history of this club. Metro ended up blowing the lead, and then scored two late to beat lead-leading Salt Lake 4:3. What a game!

But let's begin at the beginning, go on till we come to the end: then stop. Mike Petke kept the lineup the same, other than the insertion of Roy Miller, back from international duty, at his usual left back spot. Four minutes into the game, a terrible two-footed tackle on Tim Cahill was lucky not to earn a red for RSL hack Yordany Alvarez. The chippiness would be a sign of things to come.

Metro got on the board in the 11th minute, after another foul by Salt Lake. Henry placed the ball into the penalty area, where it was met by the unmarked Cahill. The Australian's header caught RSL keeper Jeff Attinella flat-footed, and we had our first goal of the match.

The second would come in the 23rd. After a Metro corner kick, Brandon Barklage was pushed down in the penalty area. Fabian Espindola stepped up to the penalty spot and cheekily flipped the ball directly down the middle, beating the diving Attinella.

So far, so good. And so was the rest of the first half, as Metro looked like world-beaters and RSL -- like preteens. That is, until the 45th minute, when Petrescu decided to give a penalty on a clear, obvious, ridiculous dive by Olmes Garcia. Alvaro Saborio beat Luis Robles to the left, and just like that, the game that looked to be over had its margin sliced to one.

The second half was more even than the first, but still, Metro looked to be comfortable on their way to a victory... until the 80th minute. A turnover on the left side of the field, an unlucky bounce off the foot of Eric Alexander, a shot by Saborio, and not the best of goalkeeping by Robles saw the game suddenly tied.

And two minutes later, it looked like Metro would be begging for that tie to return, as a defensive breakdown led to Saborio earning his hat-trick with a deftly placed ball into the upper right corner.

We've seen it before, we yelled out. This season started as a cacophony of blown leads. We thought we over it, and here... Here came Metro. Now losing, they looked like a team reborn. One minute from time, Espindola took the ball into the penalty area, was hacked down, and Petrescu pointed to the spot for the third time of the game. This time, Attinella guessed right, but Espindola's perfectly placed shot sailed over the outstretched goalkeeper, tying the match.

But that was not it. Five minutes into injury time, Barklage served a perfect ball into the area, and the diving Dax McCarty...


What a finish!

Lineup: Robles, Miller, Olave, Holgersson, Barklage, McCarty, Steele, Alexander, Cahill, Espindola, Henry. Subs: Sam, Luyindula, Obekop.

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