Metro melts Montreal's snowflakes, 1:0
August 31, 2022
During last year's playoff push, Metro made a science of winning 1:0. Claw for a goal, then clamp down and hold on. That was the formula, time and time again. That team wasn't really capable of scoring more than once.
This team is different. In fact, they only won 1:0 all year. Until tonight, that is, when they reverted to the 2021 ways by beating Montreal 1:0 to continue the fantastic road run.
And boy, did they hold on in this one! It was obvious from the beginning that a behemothian defensive effort will be needed, as both outside backs John Tolkin and Kyle Duncan were suspended. With Aaron Long was also held out after suffering a knock, as was Patryk Klimala, but that last one might have been addition by subtraction...
Or, perhaps, addition by addition, as Elias Manoel made a surprising start. The youngster was lively during his time in the game, but didn't exactly threaten. All being told, it was nice to see a different option up front.
Metro was the better team for the entire first half, finally breaking through in the 43rd. A perfect Cristian Casseres through ball from the center of the field found a streaking Lewis Morgan. The Scotsman took it into the box, took a touch, then deftly chipped it into the net. And that was all Metro needed.
Call us surprised that it was all Metro needed, because by the middle of the second half, the mantra became defend, defend, defend. Somehow, the makeshift defense made do, even with Omir Fernandez filling in at right back! A great Carlos Coronel save on a point-blank shot by Mason Toye kept Metro in the lead. Late in the game, the ball dropped dangerously in the box, only for Coronel to grab it before any damage could be done.
Morgan's 13th league goal of the year broke the tie with Daniel Royer (2017) for most by a Metro midfielder. It was Metro's first win in Montreal since the first-ever road game there in 2012. The team also set a club record for most road wins and points, topping the Shield-winning 2018 team.
Again, are we so sure we want a home playoff game?
Lineup: Coronel, Nealis, Reyes, Nealis, Harper, Edelman, Casseres, Morgan, Fernandez, Luquinhas, Manoel. Subs: Barlow, Clark, Carmona, Yearwood.