Metro extends stay of execution, 2:1
October 4, 2023

Cincinnati New York
Acosta Amaya
10.04.23 · League

Is it a case of too little, too late? Metro came out like a team possessed, scored two early goals, then held on to beat league-leading Cincinnati, 2:1. All great and everything... except the result still leaves them behind the playoff line with two games to go.

When Troy Lesesne marched out the starting tandem of Elias Manoel and Tom Barlow yet again, one couldn't help but groan. And yet, tonight the duo was almost vindicated... well, not Barlow, he still can't complete a forward pass or land a shot on goal. Manoel, on the other hand, scored two, but only one of them counted.

Early in the game, Cameron Harper almost scored off a corner kick, but missed the net from very close range. The ball appeared to hit the arm of a Cincinnati defender on its way to Harper, but VAR decided to stay silent. Soon after, in the 12th, Frankie Amaya, playing like a man possessed against his former team, received a ball from Luquinhas outside the penalty area and sent a knuckler that pierced the net. Five minutes after that, John Tolkin found Manoel in the box, as the Brazilian's one-time volley doubled the lead. Luquinhas, who got a secondary assist, doubled his year's total in just 17 minutes.

Metro easily saw the first half out, and should have had an easy run of it, when, in the 68th, Manoel curved an exquisite ball from outside the box for what looked to be a 3:0 lead. Alas, on the previous play, a ball hit Andres Reyes' hand in the box, and this time, VAR spoke. Not only was Manoel's goal wiped out, but Cincinnati scored the penalty to make it 2:1.

And yet, tonight Metro saw this one through. It wasn't without some nervy moments that spanned a ridiculous ten minutes of injury time, but they came out as deserved winners. Alas, the playoff fate is not exactly in their hands anymore, with the previous loss to Chicago looking to be the dagger that ends their postseason hope, regardless of the results that are to follow.

Well, at least it will make the next game exciting. If they manage to score at home for a change, that is.

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Duncan, Edelman, Amaya, Harper, Luquinhas, Manoel, Barlow. Subs: Stroud, Nealis, Fernandez, Burke, Yearwood.

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