Last-place Metro claws for late tie vs Fire, 1:1
April 29, 2023

Chicago New York
Kamara Burke
04.29.23 · League

At some point, you are what the record says you are, and the record is... not good. Nine points after ten games, dead last in the East. Yeah, sure, tied with three other teams, but losing out on the tiebreaker: games won. That's because Metro have won just once all year. Tonight, the winless streak continued as they needed another late goal to salvage a 1:1 tie at Chicago.

After spending the last 45 minutes aimlessly playing Tom Barlow as the lone striker, Gerhard Struber elected to start... Barlow as the lone striker. A few minutes into the game, he had the chance to redeem himself, as a bad pass by Chicago found Barlow alone against the goalkeeper. The result was completely expected, as the shot was saved. Later on, the "Big, Strong, Fast" striker had a chance for his first career assist when he sprung Elias Manoel, but the Brazilian's shot rang off the crossbar.

Later on the half, Manoel was taken down in the box, but VAR decided to not give the PK. Right after, Chicago went the other way, a cross was sent from the right, Kei Kamara snapped his head, and it was 1:0. Then, awful refereeing reared its ugly head again, as Omir Fernandez was taken down in just outside the box in what should have been a second yellow on Rafael Czichos. Instead, it was Fernandez was somehow carded for a non-existent dive.

In the second half, not much happened for the first 40 minutes. Chicago did have a half-chance when a ball got behind the Metro defense, but Andres Reyes cleared it out. Metro's attacking ineptitude was at the forefront, as they could generate nothing, with supposed attacks dying before they could get into the box. And then, a minute from time, Metro earned a corner, and John Tolkin floated it onto Cory Burke's head and into the net. Three of Metro's seven goals this years have been scored by headers from Tolkin's right-sided corners. Maybe that should be the strategy: earn corners on the right. Nothing else is working, that's for sure.

So now Struber is starting down a home stretch of games against Philly and NYC sandwiching an Open Cup game against DC. If there is a make-or-break stretch, this is bound to be it.

Of course, it's broken already....

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Nealis, Harper, Edelman, Casseres, Fernandez, Manoel, Barlow. Subs: Burke, Carmona, Stroud.

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