Metro turns it around on Toronto, 2:0
August 3, 2019
When interviewed at halftime, while describing his team's play, Chris Armas said, "in some ways, it's working". Which ways that encompassed, we leave to your imagination. Metro was being completely run off the field by an obviously more talented Toronto squad, and was lucky not to be down multiple goals.
But, and let's give Armas his due, this was the game where his halftime adjustments turned it around. The insertion of Cristian Casseres for Derrick Etienne completely changed the game, and Metro dominated the second half, running out 2:0 winners.
Armas only made two changes from last week's debacle. Thankfully, Kemar Lawrence re-entered the starting lineup at the expense of Amro Tarek. Michael Murillo was benched, with Rece Buckmaster making his MLS debut after being promoted from the reserve team just hours earlier.
And at Buckmaster Toronto went, time after time attacking the right flank. Thankfully, Aaron Long and Tim Parker were back to their normal selves, and helped keep Metro out of danger. Having Lawrence on the other flank helped as well, as did Luis Robles. The Metro goalkeeper made two spectacular saves late in the period. On the first, he just reached out to push a long shot off the post. On the second, he somehow scrambled across the entire goalmouth to stop a point-blank opportunity.
After the insertion of Casseres, the game changed. Metro was now in control, and it paid off in the 55th. Alejandro Romero Gamarra, operating on the right endline, split to defenders and sent a low cross into the box. There, is rebounded off Chris Mavinga and into the net.
Metro had a chance to double the lead four minutes later, when a back-pedaling Marc Rzatkowski was pushed down at the edge of the box. Daniel Royer, who had been perfect from this spot, somehow skied his penalty over the bar.
But tonight, Metro would not rue the missed spot kick. One minutes from time, Justin Morrow was given a straight red for taking down Bradley Wright-Phillips on a breakaway. Metro then put up a cleaning of ball possession to kill the clock. After numerous passes and not allowing Toronto to touch the ball, a Romero Gamarra cross was muffed by the keeper, and Lawrence easily converted from close range.
Well, the second half worked, we'll give you that.
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Long, Parker, Buckmaster, Davis, Rzatkowski, Etienne, Royer, Romero Gamarra, White. Subs: Casseres, Wright-Phillips.