Metro settles for tie vs LAFC, 2:2
April 21, 2024

LAFC New York
Bouanga 2 Segura(OG)
04.20.24 · League

If someone told us before the game that Metro will take a road point at LAFC, we would have welcomed it, right? After all, they were playing a formidable club that is incredibly strong at home. Hell, last time Metro visited LA's third(!) team two years ago, they were completely outclassed in every area of the field.

Well, Metro did earn a point, but it's not one we particularly welcome. After taking an early lead, giving up an equalizer, then taking a late lead, they let a victory slide in injury time in a thrilling 2:2 draw. Thrilling, but eventually disappointing.

Andres Reyes' suspension and Peter Stroud's injury meant that Sean Nealis and Daniel Edelman reclaimed starting spots (seemingly, for the long term). Metro almost got on board five minutes into the game, when Lewis Morgan found himself in the clear at the left of the box, and passed to Dante Vanzeir for what looked to be a tap-in. Old friend Aaron Long came racing back, crashing into the play to prevent the ball from going in... and crashed into the goalpost, injuring himself. The home side replaced him with Eddie Segura, who, on the ensuing corner kick, headed into his own net to give Metro the lead.

What followed for the next hour was a tactical master class by the Metro defense. They set back, let LAFC attack, and gave them absolutely nothing. Oh, there were some somewhat dangerous corners, but other than that, there was no way for the supposedly vaunted home side to get through. But you know the story here; it's hard to defend for so long, all it takes is one mistake. This came in the 67th, when Sean Nealis was judged to bring down a diving attacker into the box. Denis Bounaga converted the penalty, and it was 1:1.

Metro woke up from its offensive slumber, with a Morgan header forcing a big save in the 81st. On the ensuing corner kick (just like the opener, it was John Tolkin from the right side), the ball dropped to Emil Forsberg, who easily converted from close range.

Alas, it was not to be. LAFC started to control the game again, with two wonderful saves from Carlos Coronel keeping Metro in the lead. The dam broke in the fifth of eight minutes of injury time, when Metro failed to clear a corner, and a Bounaga shot sailed through traffic, deflected off Noah Eile, and tied the game.

And then, just before the final whistle, Elias Manoel got the ball in the box, settled it... and hit the crossbar. For the second straight game, injury time woodwork denied Manoel the game-winner.

So, yes, eventually disappointing. And yet, we can't help but think how Metro has improved since they were laughed off the same field two years ago...

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Eile, Nealis, Edelman, Amaya, Carmona, Forsberg, Morgan, Vanzeir. Subs: Gjengaar, Manoel, Duncan, Harper.

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