Elias Manoel giveth and taketh as Metro loses, 2:1
July 1, 2023
Elias Manoel scored just his second goal of the season, but then had a game-tying penalty saved, as Metro lost in Columbus, 2:1. Playing without a soon-to-be-sold Cristian Casseres, Metro was dominated for the first half hour of the game. Adjustments were made and points could have been stolen, but it was not to be.
It's pretty sad when one looks across the field and sees four attacking players that are better than anything we could imagine to line up. (Perhaps if Dante Vanzeir and Lewis Morgan ever become healthy?) Columbus' opener came after one of those players, Cucho Hernandez, sublimely redirected a goalmouth cross in the 19th minute. (Here is where we remind you that last year, two strikers from Watford came to MLS. One was Hernandez, who the Crew paid a lot of money for. The other was Ashley Fletcher. Sigh.)
Metro regrouped shortly after the goal, and almost got an equalizer when Tom Barlow jumped on an errant pass, but couldn't control the ball in the box, as his weak shot was saved by the goalkeeper. (Here is where we remind you that Barlow continues to start. Sigh.) Metro did even it in the 38th, when Frankie Amaya bounced the ball towards the left side of the box. Omir Fernandez ran into it on the endline and sent a cross that Manoel headed in for his first goal against a team not named Charlotte.
Columbus got the lead back in the 62nd, after Andres Reyes was hit in the gut, resulting with Metro being reduced to ten for the time being. On the ensuing restart, the ball made his way to an unmarked Yaw Yeboah, who shot went under Carlos Coronel and in.
Immediately after, Metro got awarded their first penalty kick of the year when Fernandez was taken down in the box. Manoel, who hit one for the reserves and another in the Cincinnati shootout, was chose to take it. Alas, his hesitation did not help, as his nicely-placed shot to the bottom right was just tipped by the outstretched keeper and off the post.
And that was it. Frankie Amaya was lucky to avoid a red in the 82nd for an elbow to the neck, but Metro couldn't break through the Columbus defense the rest of the way. One might say the deserved better out of this match, but what can you do. (Here's where we remind you that they are sitting on an empty DP slot, with a glaring hole in the attack and one of the lowest payrolls in the league. SIGH!)
Lineup: Coronel, Duncan, Nealis, Reyes, Harper, Amaya, Edelman, Fernandez, Luquinhas, Barlow, Manoel. Subs: Stroud, Vanzeir, Donkor, Yearwood.