Metro smothers Smurfs, 1:0, advances in Leagues Cup
August 3, 2023
Three weeks ago, we didn't know how to feel about this Leagues Cup, an artificial competition that interrupted the regular season just as the stretch run was about to begin. But now, after a third straight victory and a place in the Round of 16, earned after a defensive clinic against the cross-river rivals...
And what a defensive clinic it was! The entire first half was played in the Smurfs' end, as Metro's central midfield of Daniel Edelman and Frankie Amaya smothered all attempts. The desperate blue team got more offensive after the break, and Carlos Coronel did have to come up with one big save from a close-range shot... one save. The rest was a cakewalk.
Of course, to win, you need to score goals, and scoring goals is a problem for this team. Somehow, Tom Barlow continues to start, and continues to stink it up. On two occasions today, Metro created turnovers in the opposing end, got the ball to Barlow with a chance of a numeric advantage... only for the "Big, Strong, Fast" forward to give the ball away.
The lone goal of the match came from the penalty spot in the 31st. Luquinhas, whose biggest skill seems to be earning fouls, did just that in the box, and Omir Fernandez stepped up, converting. The Bronx-born midfielder has now scored both goals in this year's 1:0 wins against the club from his home borough.
So now Metro moves on to face their recent tormentors, Philly, where a defensive clinic alone will not be enough. Of course, in this Leagues Cup, it seems anything is possible?
We're definitely enjoying the Leagues Cup!
Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Harper, Edelman, Amaya, Luquinhas, Fernandez, Barlow, Vanzeir. Subs: Duncan, Yearwood, Manoel, Carmona, Stroud.