Metro butchers Smurfs in the Open Cup, 3:0
June 22, 2022

New York NY City

06.22.22 · Open Cup

We don't know how this year's Open Cup run will end. Will Metro bow out in the semifinals? Is a rare final in the cards? Could that all-elusive trophy be not far behind? However it may end, one can't deny the feeling right now, as Metro dispatched their cross-river rivals in the quarterfinals, 3:0. It wasn't even that close.

Well, it was close in the first half, when Metro looked mostly disjointed on offense, with one good chance: John Tolkin whiffing on a rebound of a Cristian Casseres shot. The good news was that the defense was up to snuff. Despite the blue (orange?) poseurs spending most of the period attacking, they could not produce any scoring opportunities.

What they could produce was fouls. Early on it became obvious that their tactic was to foul Luquinhas out of the game, and two quick yellows were given out to the poseurs. Those actions somehow endeared the Smurfs to the referee, as they started to chat him up, threw arms around him, and acted like the best of chums. Pretty pathetic, obviously.

The game turned in the 52nd off a deep Tom Edwards free kick. The Englishman sent a perfect ball into the box, where it was knocked down by the head of Aaron Long. Lewis Morgan rushed through to beat a defender, connecting for the 1:0 lead.

Ten minutes later, Smurf thuggery continued. A disgusting takedown of Sean Nealis past the Metro goal line was followed by Thiago Andrade headbutting Tolkin. No referee friendship helped, as an obvious red was given. And that could have been the game.

Except it wasn't, for in the 70th, a perfect Morgan through ball found second-half sub Patryk Klimala in the box, alone against the keeper. The Pole excellently collected the ball and fired a shot, only to have it saved. The rebound dropped to Luquinhas, who took it out of the air, made a perfect touch to evade the keeper, and slotted it into the net.

And then, in the 90th, after Gerhard Struber decided to give youngster Steven Sserwadda his debut, the Ugandan released Cameron Harper up the right flank. Harper's perfect cross was met in the box by Omir Fernandez, who made it 3:0. And now, that was the game!

The only thing that blemished the outcome was an after-hours red card given to Edwards for a scuffle. (A Smurf player got one as well.) Could Edwards' semifinal absence hurt Metro? Who knows... for now, we'll just revel in this victory!

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

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