Metro takes down Tijuana in CCL quarters, 3:1
March 13, 2018

New York Tijuana
Romero Gamarra
03.13.18 · CONCACAF

Early on, it looked bleak. An early goal from the visitors; all they needed was one more to extend the series. The five-man Metro defense looked to be breaking, and when a long shot looked to dip under the crossbar, even the most optimistic of us (and we are rarely optimistic) started shaking our heads. And then, Luis Robles got his fingertips on it to get it over the bar.

And then, off a Tijuana corner kick, Bradley Wright-Phillips raced the other way, got past the midfield line, and found Michael Murillo on his right. The Panamanian sent a perfect ball into the box, which Tyler Adams connected with, tapping it in from close range. The game was now tied. The series had the two-goal Metro lead restored.

This was in the 28th; the Metro defense calmed down the rest of the way, as the early Tijuana attacking advantage whittled. In the 70th, it was BWP and Murillo setting up again, only in the reverse direction. Murillo sent a pass from the endline to Wright-Phillips, who took a touch, then found an onrushing Marc Rzatkowski. The German scored his first Metro goal to make it 4:1 on aggregate.

Alejandro Romero Gamarra made it 5:1 six minutes later. Once again, BWP played provider, sending a perfect long ball from the right side into the box. Kaku one-timed it into the net for his own first Metro goal. Series over.

So Metro becomes the first MLS team to sweep a Mexican team in a Champions League knockout series, moving on to the semifinals for the first time in club history. And as much as we try not to be optimistic (we are rarely optimistic), we are thankful that, at this moment, the future doesn't look bleak...

Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Parker, Long, Collin, Murillo, Adams, Valot, Muyl, Royer, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Rzatkowski, Romero Gamarra, Rivas.

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