Champions League dreams end in Vancouver
March 2, 2017
The past two seasons, Metro has been almost an unstoppable scoring force in MLS. Regular season MLS, that is. Once it came to games that mattered, AKA the playoffs, the team's attacking prowess died with its chances of advancement.
Sadly, we can now add the CONCACAF Champions League to the list of such failures. Metro was outplayed and outhacked by the home-standing Whitecaps, losing the game 2:0 and the series 3:1. Continental glory was there for the taking... but glory can't go to a team that can't figure out to score.
The doomed 4-2-2-2 was bailed on when Gonzalo Veron left the game with an injury in the 8th minute. By then, Metro already trailed, as a bad clearance led to a high school junior named Alphonso Davies fighting off Kemar Lawrence and slotting the ball to Luis Robles' short side. The Metro keeper had to be alert the rest of the half to keep the margin at one, making two huge saves: one on a long shot, the other a reaction to parry a lob over the bar.
Metro's only real chances came off set pieces, where Vancouver's hacking gave them enough opportunities. Daniel Royer looked to have scored off one such play. The Austrian rushed past the defense to slot the ball in, but it never fully crossed the line.
Vancouver put it away in the 76th, as an errant clearance off a corner kick saw the ball land at the feet of Fredy Montero. His blast gave Vancouver a two-goal advantage, and that was all she wrote.
Well, at least now we have a 34-game regular season of Metro being an unstoppable scoring force! Right?
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Long, Collin, Zizzo, Martins, Davis, Kljestan, Royer, Veron, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Etienne, Muyl, Grella.