Youri Djorkaeff was upset and Tony Meola was frustrated. Sure the MetroStars snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat in a 2-2 tie Saturday night at Giants Stadium with Kansas City, but that's not enough.
Not when the club is five points out of a playoff spot. Not when there are seven games to play.
Ante Razov saved the day, scoring the blistering equalizer two minutes from full time and just as they had in their last game -- a 3-3 draw with Chivas USA on Aug. 21, the Metros had earned a point at the death. But MetroStars coach Bob Bradley called it a must-win three-game homestand and his club only got five out of much-needed nine points.
The MetroStars are five points out of the fourth and final playoff spot and could be as many as seven points back depending on Chicago's result at Los Angeles Sunday.
"It's frustrating. You try not to get frustrated but it's hard not to," Meola said. "Two points in the last two home games, we've given up five goals. It's frustrating."
Before the game was a minute old and before the fans were able to soak in the one-day-only burnt orange kit, the Metros were down on Ryan Pore's first MLS goal.
Kerry Zavagnin found the developmental player out of Tulsa on the right and he knocked the ball past Meola with the outside of his right foot 50 seconds into the match.
It is the second time this season the MetroStars conceded a goal in the opening minute of the game.
But the Metros equalized off a 27th minute set piece after Zavagnin fouled Amado Guevara. The Honduran international took a quick set piece and found Djorkaeff on the right side of the box and Djorkaeff, who wore the captain's armband for a third straight game, beat K.C. 'keeper Bo Oshoniyi low inside the far post.
The Metros then went down 2-1 in the second minute of the second half. Josh Wolff took Davy Arnaud's pass and ran in on Meola, slotting the ball through his legs from eight yards out.
"If you're going to win a championship, you can't give up goals," Meola said. "Every team in the league that has won a championship has had a good defense. Pretty much every team that has gone to the finals has had a good defense."
Again, though, the Metros rallied. Although before Razov's heroics, Djorkaeff had a goal called back for a controversial hand ball in the 81st minute. Djorkaeff followed Razov's shot off the crossbar, but he was called for a hand ball by referee Tom Supple. Guevara received a yellow card for dissent.
"I'm too upset tonight," Djorkaeff said. "I don't know. Nothing with us, everything against us. Maybe, I don't know, people don't want to watch the MetroStars in the playoffs."
Added Bradley: "I saw the replay on the (score)board and then saw the tape just now and from what you see, it looks like he took it down and put the ball in the back of the net."
But Razov came to the rescue seven minutes later. Following a foul by Arnaud on Djorakeff, Razov, who made his first appearance since sports hernia surgery on Aug. 15, sent the blistering equalizer over Oshoniyi's right shoulder from 18 yards out.
"The push to get three points in so many of these games of late has been there," Bradley said. "And yet, the odd mistake or in some cases a call has hurt the effort."
The MetroStars, who raffled off the orange jerseys in an effort to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina and raised $14,200, will now push for three points at Kansas City next Saturday night.
Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.