Metro comes back to steal a tie in Montreal, 2:2
June 19, 2024

Montreal New York
06.19.24 · League

If New England is considered the house of Metro road horrors, then Montreal is not far behind. In fact, in all competitions, Metro's point record in Quebec is even worse than in Massachusetts. They won their first game there, back in 2012 (with Ryan Meara in goal!), they won another one in 2022, but that's it. Even the ties have been sparse. Until tonight, Metro got points just four times in 14 games in Montreal.

And tonight it looked to go down the usual path. The end of the first half saw Metro listless, impotent, and without answers, looking at the wrong side of a 2:0 scoreline. However, a much better second half saw a pretty fantastic comeback, with Julian Hall scoring on his first touch of the game to knot the match at 2:2 late.

In did not start well in the 11th minute, as John Tolkin was beat and fouled his man just outside the left edge of the box. Montreal hit the short free kick across the goalmouth, it was headed back, Meara made the initial save, but the ball was put in from inches out. Then, in the 40th minute, a ball was played over the Metro defense. Tolkin tried to catch up, was spun around in the box, and Montreal made it 2:0.

The entire first half consisted of Montreal placing 10 men behind the ball and daring Metro to break it. They couldn't. Other than some clever runs by Cameron Harper, Metro attack was out of ideas. Of course, having no Lewis Morgan and Emil Forsberg withheld due to an injury, that was no surprise. Giving Ronald Donkor his first MLS start at the expense of Frankie Amaya did not exactly help things.

Metro regrouped shortly after the break, and started to find seams in the Montreal defense. In the 61st, Dante Vanzeir sent Elias Manoel into the box. The Brazilian tried to round the keeper, but had the ball knocked away. Thankfully, Wiki Carmona, completely invisible in the match prior to this point, slammed it home to make it 2:1.

The stunning equalizer came in the 88th from -- what else with no Morgan and Forsberg! -- a Tolkin right-sided corner kick. It was first headed by Sean Nealis, then by Cory Burke, and Hall, who just entered the game seconds prior, got his Sideshow-Bob-esque mane to finish the sequence. Hall became the youngest scorer in team history, bypassing Eddie Gaven.

Metro could have had a win five minutes into injury time when Tolkin found Vanzeir alone with the keeper, but the Belgian (sigh!) missed. It looked like Tolkin did end up being called offside on the play, so perhaps the miss was for the best. (Sigh.)

So, while last weekend's tie almost felt like a loss, this almost felt like a win. Alas, we need to start picking up real wins... And Red Bull needs to do something to inject some creativity into the roster. It's sorely needed, even after Morgan and Forsberg return.

Lineup: Meara, Tolkin, Nealis, Eile, Nealis, Edelman, Donkor, Carmona, Harper, Manoel, Vanzeir. Subs: Amaya, Burke, Gjengaar, Hall.

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