Metro holds charging Charlotte, 1:1
March 25, 2023
Tonight, Metro played the 1000th game in its history. No, it wasn't exactly memorable, a scrappy affair in Charlotte that saw them go ahead late in the first half, only to barely survive to rescue an eventual point in a 1:1 draw. But, hell, 1000 games. Just a drop in a bucket...
Cristian Casseres and Cory Burke were absent due to national team duty, so Omir Fernandez and Elias Manoel got the starts. In a rare occasion, Carlos Coronel was called to action early on, as Charlotte slipped a ball past the midfield for a dangerous opportunity. The Metro goalkeeper easily parried it away. The first half also saw a disgusting studs-up tackle by the hosts' Brandt Bronico, who somehow escaped without even a yellow.
Metro got on the board two minutes before the break, when an awful touch from a Charlotte defender saw Manoel pounce on the ball. He fought off the helpless host, then finished the one-on-one past the keeper. The Brazilian has scored three goals since signing with Metro, all against the same team.
After the break, Metro seemed content to sit on the lead and let Charlotte come at them. That seemed to work, and the hosts got lucky again, as midway through the period, another blatant red card was not called. Alas, in the 74th, a ball got behind the Metro defense, and an outstretched Andres Reyes deflected the cross into his own net.
From that point on, it was all Charlotte. All Gerhard Struber could do was insert Tom Barlow, who did his usual impression of a chicken with its head cut off (we mean that in the best of ways), and even putting on fifth defender Hassan Ndam to preserve the point. At the end, Metro held on for dear life... and yet, amazingly, allowed a single shot on goal in the the entire game (because the own goal didn't count). This gives them an amazing total of seven allowed in five games... with a defense like that, the record should be better, shouldn't it?
Well, for a better record, you need to score some goals. Sigh. It seems we've been saying that for the majority of these 1000 games...
Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Nealis, Amaya, Edelman, Harper, Luquinhas, Fernandez, Manoel. Subs: Vanzeir, Duncan, Barlow, Ndam.