Another PK given up, another 1:1 draw
April 26, 2014
The penalty kicks are becoming a broken record; five of them given up this year already, each ending in the back of the net. Some were justified, some not, but once again, they cost Metro points. This time, Metro outplayed the host Columbus but had to settle for a 1:1 draw... the third 1:1 draw this year when the opposing team's goal came from the spot.
Fresh off the resounding victory in mid-week, the lineup was kept exactly the same. And it looked to have paid off early, with Metro earning two breakaways in the game's first minutes.
Initially, Eric Alexander broke through after Titi Henry did well to retreat back from an offside position. The midfielder's shot was saved by Columbus keeper Steve Clark. Then, a high bounce befuddled the Crew defense, and the ball landed with Bradley Wright-Phillips. Clark's reaction forced the Metro striker wide, and he missed.
The penalty came against the run of play in the 39th minute, when Kosuke Kimura was judged to foul a player in the box (perhaps this one was more justified than some others). Jairo Arrieta stepped up and roofed it to the right of Luis Robles. The Metro keeper guessed correctly once again but could do nothing as the shot went off the crossbar and in.
Down one, Metro continued to play well, and had a chance when Henry's one-time volley after yet another bounce was saved. A few minutes later, Kimura traveled on the endline, but his centering pass was cleared.
Early in the second half, Columbus finally started to look semi-competent offensively. One shot rang off the post, and then Robles magnificently thwarted a breakaway, coming out of the box and stripping the ball while sliding.
The game-tying goal came in the 66th minute. Lloyd Sam took the ball upfield and Kimura made a run on his right, drawing a defender. Instead, the ball was passed into the box to Wright-Phillips. The Englishman hammered it off the right post, and it ricocheted into the net.
The rest of the game was void of much excitement, as Metro looked to be happy to settle for a point. And yet, one can't help but get worried about all these penalties... justified or not.
Lineup: Robles, Miller, Olave, Armando, Kimura, McCarty, Alexander, Luyindula, Sam, Wright-Phillips, Henry. Subs: Steele, Bover.