Metro wins at "home" in the Open Cup, 3:1
May 25, 2022

New York Charlotte
05.25.22 · Open Cup

The home horror show is finally over! Well, sort of. Metro scored early, allowed an equalizer, and then turned it on late to defeat Charlotte in the Open Cup Round of 16, 3:1. The win, Metro's first home triumph of the year, came at Montclair State University, not at Red Bull Arena. Well, beggars can't be choosers.

Even with three games in seven days, Gerhard Struber went with a very strong lineup, even putting in Carlos Coronel for usual cup starter Ryan Meara. Luquinhas, who has been rested from the start in the last couple of league matches, began the game. John Tolkin came back from his COVID exile as well.

A little over a minute in, Metro got on the board. A Tom Edwards corner kick landed at the feet at Aaron Long deep in the penalty box. The defender knocked it towards the net, where Patryk Klimala converted from the doorstep. Alas, just six minutes later, a ball over the top eventually found Daniel Rios, who shot through Sean Nealis' legs and past Coronel.

Metro dominated the rest of the half, with very little to show it. Charlotte put it together early in the second, and actually started to look dangerous... until the 63rd minute, that is. Against the run of play, Klimala took the ball up the left side, beat a couple of defenders, and ended his magnificent run with a goalmouth cross that was met at the right post by Dylan Nealis. It was the defender's first professional goal.

The rest of the game was pretty academic. Charlotte reverted to being hopeless, and Metro easily saw the game out. Tom Barlow entered the game late to play on the field where he once dominated in the minor leagues. First, he barlowed a one-on-one from close range. Two minutes into injury time, the "Big, Strong, Fast" striker made amends, converting a perfect Luquinhas ball into the empty net.

So Metro is now into the quarterfinals, where they will face the blue poseurs from across the river. Metro will host... at Red Bull Arena, right?

Wait, do we actually want that?

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Long, Nealis, Edwards, Nealis, Edelman, Casseres, Fernandez, Luquinhas, Klimala. Subs: Amaya, Morgan, Barlow.

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