R16 Wrap: MetroStars v Adelaide Blue Eagles
MetroStars further strengthened their top six aspirations with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 16 of the PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues South Australia at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday.
Adam Van Dommele handed the visitors the lead halfway through the second half with Fortunato Filletti providing an equaliser for the Blue Eagles two minutes before full time. However, Jonathan Negus scored for the MetroStars moments before the final whistle.
In a physical encounter, where most of the action took place in midfield, there were few genuine scoring opportunities for either side.
Yvan Boyokino and Alemayo Kebede threatened the MetroStars’ goal with free kicks in the 14th and 19th minute respectively, whilst Metro threatened with a free kick of their own in the 23rd minute.
Filletti’s shot in the 23rd minute was wide of the target, whereas Mattia Perotti’s shot was saved by Metro goalkeeper Callum Piantadosi five minutes later.
Anthony Solagna’s long distance attempt in the 33rd minute narrowly missed the Blue Eagles’ goal with Perotti’s threatening shot being blocked by a last ditch tackle four minutes later.
In the 40th minute, Travis Dodd managed to shrug off two Blue Eagles defenders with a clever turn within the 18-yard-box, but his efforts were not rewarded with his shot falling wide.
Three minutes later, Dodd was out of luck again, when his header missed the goal after a corner.
Shortly before halftime, two players from each team received yellow cards for an off-the-ball altercation.
The game opened up after the break with Metro’s Stefan Simic threatening the Blue Eagles’ goal a minute into the second half.
In the 56th minute, Piantadosi parried a dangerous Boyokino free kick out for a corner, with the Metro shot-stopper in action again nine minutes later, saving a shot by Kebede.
Dodd fell short again ten minutes later, when another shot of his missed the target, however, the deadlock was broken in the 76th minute, when Van Dommele nodded in a corner, to give Metro the lead.
The Blue Eagles’ comeback hopes were dealt a blow, when defender Adam Harris was sent off for a second yellow card.
However, six minutes later, Metro would lose a man too, when Liam Wooding was also shown a second yellow card.
The Blue Eagles equalised in the 88th minute, after a dazzling left-wing dash by Boyokino was finished off by Perotti, within the six-yard-box.
However, all of the Blue Eagles’ comeback hopes were dashed, when Metro substitute, Jonathan Negus, tapped in a left wing cross in the 90th minute.
MetroStars’ Fabian Barbiero described his team’s performance as a “good win”.
“The first half was pretty even, and then, in the second half we ramped it up a little bit,” Barbiero said.
“We changed a bit of our formation, brought on a few players from the bench and we started to push forward a bit, and we obviously ended up scoring to take the lead.
“It was a quite entertaining match in the end.”
Blue Eagle Yvan Boyokino wasn’t too upset about his team’s loss.
“We had a good performance, especially in the first half,” Boyokino said.
“The coach tried a new formation on the pitch, which worked really well, but unfortunately in the second half, we missed a bit of experience and that’s how we conceded the second goal.
“Overall it was a good performance, but me (sic) and my teammates aren’t upset about it – so it’s okay.”
Adelaide Blue Eagles drop to fifth on the ladder and visit Croydon next week, whilst MetroStars climb to sixth and host West Torrens-Birkalla.