9-man Metros lose to Mexican Goats
August 14, 2002 (Official Game Summary)

MetroStars Guadalajara
Alvarez Bravo 2
08.14.02 · Friendly

Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara emerged 3-1 victors over the nine-man MetroStars in an international friendly Wednesday night at Giants Stadium in front of a decidedly pro-Chivas crowd of 12,117. The match, though officially a friendly, was marked by repeated fouls on both sides and three ejections, including the red-carding of MetroStars Mike Petke and Rodrigo Faria late in the first half.

Chivas looked strong in the early going against the MetroStars revamped back line, with new signing Nelson Akwari slotting in the middle next to Petke.

Captain Tim Howard returned in goal for the MetroStars after sitting out the last two games with a toe injury and was called upon to come up big in the 17th minute, diving to his right to parry a shot from Chivas Rafael Medina before saving a soft follow-up shot. Substitute Omar Bravo had a golden chance for Chivas a minute later, but dragged his shot wide right with only Akwari to beat in the box.

Another injury returnee, midfielder Brad Davis, let fly with a 20-yard blast in the 22nd minute, and Mexican international goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez did well to hold the one-bouncer in front of a charging Byron Alvarez.

Chivas finally made its attractive combination play and superior touch pay off on 25 minutes. Bravo played a neat one-two at the top of the box with forward Miguel Sabah and ran onto the return pass to left-foot a half volley past the charging Howard from 15 yards.

The physical match saw a skirmish in the 32nd minute, with both teams pushing and shoving before tensions came to a head in the 42nd minute. Petke came in hard from behind and was given his sent off by referee Brian Hall with his second yellow card. Faria made contact with Hall in voicing his disagreement and was also sent off, leaving the MetroStars with nine men for the remainder of the match.

With a mountain to climb, the MetroStars fell even farther behind two minutes after the interval following a wonderful precision move from Chivas. Sabah dummied a pass from the left and Ramon Ramirez chipped into the box. Bravo, running onto the pass, lobbed the ball over a charging Paul Grafer, who had entered at halftime, and tapped in from close range.

The MetroStars countered within the next minute, as Davis and Akwari combined to set up Alvarez, who played the last two seasons for Mexican club Tampico, for a one-time finish at the back post.

The MetroStars came inches from tying the match in the 55th minute, as Davis bent a 25-yard free kick over the wall, only to be denied by the right upright with replacement keeper Martin Zuniga cleanly beaten.

A deflection turned fortuitous for Chivas four minutes later, as left wing Jorge Garcia got a lucky bounce to keep possession on the left wing. His cross was skillfully dummied through by Bravo to a wide-open Sabah, who made no mistake from 15 yards against Grafer's challenge.

Grafer rose to the task several times in the remaining minutes, however, diving to save from Armando Moctezuma in the 63rd minute and Ezequiel Chavez in the 67th minute. Alfonso Loera hit the crossbar for Chivas in the 68th minute, the Mexican side forcing all nine MetroStars within 20 yards of their own goal for much of the second half.

Things evened up a little bit in the 78th minute when Mark Lisi and Jair Garcia tangled in midfield and Garcia was sent off for retaliating against Lisi, who himself earned a yellow card.

Grafer saved one more goal with five minutes remaining, recovering well to stymie Jorge Garcia and keep the final margin 3-1 as the match drew to a close.

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