Clinical Santos breaks misfiring Metro, 2:0
March 5, 2019
For a long time, Metro looked like the better team. The press was working; the supposed Mexican juggernaut couldn't get out of its own half. Wave after wave, Metro would send forward. The floodgates were bound to open.
They never did. Metro's inability to finish cost it dearly, as Santos scored goals on both side of halftime to exit Red Bull Arena 2:0 winners, effectively putting the Champions League quarterfinal to bed. It's almost like we've seen this story before...
Chris Armas was forced to make one change from the last Champions League lineup, inserting Kyle Duncan for the suspended Michael Murillo. Duncan asserted himself incredibly well early on, cleaning up on defense and leading the Metro charge up the right flank.
Unfortunately, that charge could not end with a goal. Two sequences late in the half were symbolic of Metro's failure. First, Daniel Royer pounced on a rebound of a Bradley Wright-Phillips shot, but his attempt was poked way by the Santos keeper. Moments later, a BWP header glanced just wide of the post.
In the 42nd, completely against the run of play, Diego Valdes sliced a shot from the top of the box and into the bottom left corner. Then, two minutes after the break, Santos attackers sliced through the Metro defense, and a sublime touch led to a Julio Furch goal.
Frustrations began to boil, and it took Metro a good portion of the half to calm down and attempt a comeback. Alas, a Connor Lade shot into an empty net was horribly shanked, and a late BWP effort was saved by the goalkeeper's fingertips. Metro now faces an incredibly high mountain in Mexico, its Champions League run ready to be aborted short of last year's effort.
Why does this story have to repeat?
Lineup: Robles, Lade, Long, Parker, Duncan, Davis, Rzatkowski, Muyl, Royer, Romero Gamarra, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Ivan, Etienne.