The Sword of Damocles falls
November 29, 2018
Greek legends tell of the Sword of Damocles, hanging by a thread over a supposedly powerful ruler. This is what this game felt like tonight. Metro's hopes were hanging by a thread.
It wouldn't take much to cut it. Atlanta didn't have to score, like they almost did when the game was barely a quarter minute old. All it would take is time. Second after second, minute after minute, for every tick of the clock that Metro didn't score, the thread got that much thinner.
Three goals was an improbable undertaking, and one that Metro just couldn't overcome. Atlanta played something Metro couldn't five days ago: a perfect defensive game. Metro just couldn't find a way to break through. By the time the first half ended with no real chances for the home team, the result seemed obvious.
Hope sparked for a brief second when Aaron Long appeared to have scored off a corner kick, but the goal was called back by VAR for goaltender interference. (Oh, that VAR!) When Tim Parker connected off another corner in injury time, it was too little, too late.
For moments after that meaningless goal pierced the Atlanta net, the Sword of Damocles fell, ending Metro's remarkable season in a sad, yet fitting fashion: a 1:0 win. Go figure.
When we look back at this year, we'll remember the good times. We'll remember Metro shattering records, dominating teams, and bringing us much joy. But, at the end, the team that lived by the press died because it decided not to press in the away leg. They got away from what made them special, and they paid dearly for it.
Greek legends never end well, do they?
Lineup: Robles, Lade, Long, Parker, Murillo, Adams, Davis, Muyl, Royer, Romero Gamarra, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Etienne, Rzatkowski, Ivan.