North Eastern MetroStars eliminated Adelaide Olympic from the National Premier League – SA Finals Series with a 1-0 victory today in their Elimination Final clash at TK Shutter Reserve.
Defender Lachlan Barr popped up again this season to secure the victory for his side, but it was the heroics of MetroStars goalkeeper Isaac Carmody, who produced an incredible double save in the dying minutes of normal time to avoid his side being eliminated from the Finals Series.
Olympic had the first chance of the match in the opening minutes, when Titor Bontor put Christos Pounendis through on goal, but his shot was well saved by Carmody. Bontor should have given Olympic the lead after 12 minutes when he was presented with an open goal chance but his strike went wide of the goals.
MetroStars pressured the Olympic defence, but Olympic held well, until Michael D’Aloisio got on the end a Liam Wooding corner, but his header was saved by Olympic keeper Daniel Atkins.
Olympic’s Riccardo DaSilva was causing headaches in midfield, while Pounendis continued to apply the pressure for his side.
Just before half time, Wooding had a chance but his volley from a Fabian Barbiero cross went just wide of the upright.
DaSilva had the first chance of the second half when the ball fell to him just outside the 18 yard box, but his strike was well held by Carmody.
The match intensity switched on after the break with a number of hard challenges which led to numerous turnovers from both sides.
MetroStars striker Tom Strain starting causing havoc up front, and a cross into Rocky Callisto was headed straight into Atkins arms.
Soon after, Strain caused a turnover in the middle of the pitch turning in a counter attack, with D’Aloisio running down the wing, whose cross was intercepted by Eli Vlassis inside the box to deny MetroStars the chance.
10 minutes from time, Wooding should have given MetroStars the lead when Strain whipped in a low cross, with Wooding’s flick just going marginally wide of the far post.
This time it was Olympic to rue the chances, when a turnover in the midfield saw Vlassis play through Fausto Erba who was running into the 18 yard box, but Tim Henderson came out of nowhere to produce a perfectly timed tackle to intercept the ball just before Erba had time to strike the ball.
And in the turning point of the match in injury time, Carmody produced a brilliant piece of play, when Pounendis was one on one through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but Carmody was able to put a hand to the ball just as Pounendis flicked the ball, and then Carmody followed up by diving on the ball just before Pounendis went to kick the ball into the goal.
It sparked MetroStars into a quick counter attack, which resulted in Wooding’s shot just going over the bar.
The match went into extra time with the scores deadlocked at 0-0, and in the opening minute of play Mamadi Kamara put through Erba but Barr was on hand to put in a clinical challenge to deny Erba a shot on goal.
Hamish Gow had a chance to give MetroStars the lead just before half time of extra time, but his free kick went millimetres wide of the up right.
But it was Barr who would score the winner, when Gow’s corner in the 110th minute, saw a goal mouth scramble, with Barr being the first to react and slotting the ball past Atkins.
Olympic had one final chance just before full time, but Thomas Brown’s header from a free kick went wide of the goal.
MetroStars now face a red hot Adelaide United, who came away with a shock 3-1 victory over Adelaide Comets.
MetroStars 1 (Barr 110’)