Jonathan Negus strikes as MetroStars win FFA Cup SA final against Adelaide City at Hindmarsh Stadium
JONATHAN Negus — who won eight major trophies in a decade with Adelaide City — has helped to bury his old club with a pivotal goal as MetroStars took out the FFA Cup SA final at Hindmarsh Stadium.
JONATHAN Negus won eight major trophies in a decade with Adelaide City.On Saturday, the veteran scored the opening goal to fire MetroStars to a 2-0 victory over his old club in the FFA Cup SA final at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Negus headed home in the seventh minute, before Christian Esposito sealed back-to-back cup triumphs for the Klemzig club midway through the second half.
The hard-fought triumph also earned Robbie Saraceno’s side a place in Thursday’s draw for the national FFA Cup round of 32.
SA Premier League leader City dominated possession for periods of the decider as it looked for its first silverware since 2014.But it was left frustrated as MetroStars were clinical in attack and resolute in defence, led superbly by skipper Michael D’Aloisio and man-of-the-match Anthony Solagna.
MetroStar's Matthew Dawber tries to get ahead of Adelaide City's Joel Allwright at Coopers Stadium. Picture: Matt Loxton
The clash opened at a cracking pace as both sides had early chances.
MetroStars’ Liam Wooding fired a first-time strike over the bar in the first minute and City’s Nic Bucco tested keeper Isaac Carmody with a low free kick.
The cup holder made the breakthrough soon after.
Former Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero chipped a free kick into the box which Black and Whites custodian Luke Ostbye advanced off his line to collect.
But he was beaten to the ball by Negus, a City player from 2004-14, who got his head to the ball and diverted it into the open goal.
MetroStars doubled their advantage in the 64th minute.
The livewire Barbiero made a driving run to into the box but had his close-range shot blocked by Ostbye.
The rebound fell to Esposito who drove home a first-time finish from an angle for his 11th strike of an impressive campaign.
Earlier, the Black and Whites had enjoyed the better of the first half but had been unable to force an equaliser.
Referee Daniel Goodwin waved away City appeals for a penalty after Anthony Costa was nudged to the ground and Bucco was again denied by Carmody from another free kick.
MetroStars celebrate after their FFA Cup SA final win against Adelaide City at Coopers Stadium. Picture: Matt Loxton
Damian Mori’s men went close to levelling twice before the break.Bucco fed Anthony Costa, who turned his marker before cutting the ball back for Joel Allwright, but the winger’s close-range effort was brilliantly blocked by Solagna.
League-leading scorer Anthony Costa again stretched MetroStars on the half-hour with a through ball to Allwright but D’Aloisio came up with a crucial last-ditch tackle.
The pattern continued in the second half.The excellent Tim Henderson nipped in to deny substitute Mamadi Kamara when the winger was well-placed and Allwright blasted a free kick over the bar.
City continued to push but was undone by the counterattacking speed of MetroStars as Esposito all but sealed his side’s fifth SA cup.
The Black and Whites’ hopes were extinguished 10 minutes from time when substitute Evan Kostopoulos was sent off for seemingly headbutting Rocky Callisto.
FFA Cup SA fFnal
MetroStars 2 (Negus 7, Esposito 64) d Adelaide City 0
Crowd: 2571 at Hindmarsh Stadium