METROSTARS again proved SA deserves more than just two miserly spots in the FFA Cup when it knocked fancied Blacktown City out of the tournament at Lily’s Football Stadium on Wednesday.
After Adelaide City turned the cup on its head last year when it defeated A-League club Western Sydney, Metro, the reigning Australian NPL champion claimed a smash and grab 2-1 win over the NSW NPL leaders.
MetroStars only earned its FFA Cup spot courtesy of being the best second tier club in the nation last year.
MetroStars now head for the round of 16 before Adelaide United opens its cup defence when it faces Darwin Olympic in Darwin next week while local cup champion Croydon Kings hosts Lions from Brisbane at home.
Rocky Callisto of MetroStars puts a move on Giorgio Speranza of Blacktown City.Source:Getty Images
Jonathan Negus set the comeback in motion when he equalised from a stunning header in the 61st minute after a brilliant cross from skipper Adam van Dommele.
Although the goal arrived against the run of play it gave MetroStars impetus to cause an upset after it was against the ropes for the most of the first hour.
Rocky Callisto made it 2-1 with an opportunistic strike after van Dommele was again involved in the build up to give the South Australians a shock victory.
MetroStars goalkeeper Daniel Godley looks on in the fog.Source:Getty Images
Scott Tunbridge should have made it 3-1 in stoppage time but his spot kick was skied over the bar.
MetroStars was initially struggling to cope with the fast pace of the synthetic pitch and was punished heavily when midfielder Steven Grelli lost the ball while the South Australians were in forward transition in the 34th minute.
Blacktown City claimed the ball back played it out to the open space on the right flank where speedster Mitch Mallia was lurking.
Michael D'aloisio crunches Blacktown City’s Patrick Antelmi.Source:Getty Images
Mallia supplied a tantalising cross towards the six yard box which Patrick Antelmi easily converted to give the home side a deserved 1-0 lead.
Up until that point the depleted MetroStars outfit were content to sit back and soak up pressure before trying to play counter attacking football.
But with cheap turnovers in midfield costly it was Blacktown which had the reigning SA champion pegged inside its own half for most of the first half.
Antelmi had a chance to double the score just before the break but his 15m effort was well saved by Metro gloveman Daniel Godley.
Godley’s brilliance kept Blacktown at bay and allowed the visitors some reprieve.
Liam Wooding forced Blacktown’s Nenad Vikic to make a save from an 18m effort and just seconds later, Mallia missed an open target after a rapid counter attack from the home side.
FFA CUP ROUND OF 32
Blacktown City (Patrick Antelmi) 1, MetroStars 2 (Jonathan Negus 61m, Rocky Callisto 75m) at Lily’s Football Centre.