Against his former club and in front of his new chief front office executive, Ante Razov scored two goals in a two-minute span in the first half to lift the MetroStars to a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Crew at Giants Stadium on Saturday night.
Razov, who was dealt to the MetroStars June 7 following a very public falling out with Crew coach Greg Andrulis, got a measure of revenge by not only scoring but leading the Metros to their second win of the year at Giants Stadium. The MetroStars are unbeaten in five games, having lost just once in its last eight.
Game one of the Alexi Lalas era as club president and general manager brought about change off the field -- Bob Bradley and assistant coach Mo Johnston each wore suits on the sideline -- and saw the team play the attractive brand of soccer, especially in the first half, that he called for during his first week.
Razov scored his first two goals in a MetroStars uniform within a two-minute span, but not until after his side had seized the momentum at the other end of the field.
Goalkeeper Zach Wells, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, came up big in the 28th minute when he dived to his left to push away Chris Henderson's poorly taken penalty kick. Wells atoned for his own mistake after he took down one-time teammate Cornell Glen, who dribbled around the young 'keeper, giving referee Michael Kennedy no option but to point to the penalty spot.
It was the second penalty save of the year for Wells (he's 2-for-4), the first also coming against the Crew. He stopped Kyle Martino's chance in the Metros 3-0 win at Columbus on May 28.
Razov scored his first goal in the 31st minute when he was freed by Youri Djorkaeff's through ball that was tipped by Michael Bradley. Razov scored low to rookie 'keeper Bill Gaudette's right to put the Metros ahead.
Two minutes later Razov made it 2-0, this time being slipped through by Amado Guevara. Razov received the ball to the right of the goal, but he managed to beat Gaudette inside the near post from a tight angle, putting the ball off the side netting for his 80th career MLS goal.
But Columbus wasted little time pulling a goal back, getting to within 2-1 in the 36th minute. Glen raced down the left side of the field and crossed the ball inside the box to Edson Buddle, and he powerfully held off Metros defender Jeff Agoos before turning and toe-poking the ball off Wells and in.
After two near misses by the Metros -- Djorkaeff chipped the ball over the crossbar from 22 yards out in the 37th minute and one minute later Mike Magee's 14-yard chip forced Gaudette to lunge backwards and push the ball away -- Columbus had a chance to equalize.
Following a collision between Buddle and Wells, the ball bounced to Mario Rodriguez, but his shot was cleared off the line by Agoos in the 42nd minute.
Lalas had to love Guevara's brilliance that led to the club's third goal. With his back to Crew defender Mario Rodriguez, he slid the through his legs and turned in the box, before Rodriguez tripped him from behind for the game's second penalty kick.
While Guevara has usually been the Metros man from the spot, it was Djorkaeff who took the penalty, beating Gaudette to the 'keeper's right to put the Metros in front 3-1 in the 70th minute.
Former MetroStars fan favorite John Wolyniec entered the game in the 71st minute and set up Glen six minutes later with a long ball. Glen blew past Agoos and raced in on Wells, cutting back and ripping the ball high into the goal after the Metros 'keeper had fallen to the ground for his second goal of the year.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Ante Razov (MetroStars)
Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Columbus Crew (4-6-1) vs. MetroStars (4-3-5)
June 18, 2005 -- Giants Stadium
MET -- Ante Razov 2 (Youri Djorkaeff 3, Michael Bradley 2) 31
MET -- Ante Razov 3 (Amado Guevara 6, Chris Leitch 1) 33
CLB -- Edson Buddle 4 (Cornell Glen 1) 36
MET -- Youri Djorkaeff 2 (penalty kick) 70
CLB -- Cornell Glen 2 (John Wolyniec 4) 77
Columbus Crew -- Bill Gaudette, Frankie Hejduk, Robin Fraser, Chad Marshall, Chris Wingert, Mario Rodriguez (John Wolyniec 71), Simon Elliott, Kyle Martino (Knox Cameron 80), Chris Henderson (David Testo 48), Edson Buddle, Cornell Glen.
Substitutes Not Used: Stephen Herdsman, Andrew Terris.
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Chad Marshall 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Edson Buddle 2, Simon Elliott 2); FOULS: 9 (Cornell Glen 3); OFFSIDES: 8 (Cornell Glen 4); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Simon Elliott 2); SAVES: 6 (Bill Gaudette 5)
MetroStars -- Zach Wells, Chris Leitch, Jeff Agoos (Carlos Mendes 82), Jeff Parke, Tim Regan, Mike Magee (Sergio Galvan Rey 86), Michael Bradley, Mark Lisi, Amado Guevara, Ante Razov, Youri Djorkaeff (Seth Stammler 90).
Substitutes Not Used: Ramon Bailey, Danilo da Silva, Mamadou Diallo, Gilberto Flores, Jason Hernandez, Jonny Walker.
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Youri Djorkaeff 9); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Youri Djorkaeff 4); FOULS: 11 (Mike Magee 3); OFFSIDES: 10 (Youri Djorkaeff 4, Ante Razov 4); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Youri Djorkaeff 2, Amado Guevara 2); SAVES: 4 (Zach Wells 3)
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: -Jorge De la Bandera; C.J. Morgante
4th Official: Roni Canales
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-74-degrees
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.