We preview the Elimination Final in the National Premier Leagues - SA competition as North Eastern MetroStars face Raiders away the Croatian Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
MetroStars are coming off a comprehensive 4-0 win against West Adelaide (match highlights here) in the final round of the regular season last Saturday. MetroStars started the half strongly, Esposito hitting the post with a free kick on 4 minutes. Liam Wooding opened the scoring with a powerful strike on 16 minutes which bounced in off the post. Matthew Dawber double the advantage three minutes later when he snuck in a the near post to convert Esposito's deflected cross. MetroStars were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute when Matthew Bouraee was adjudged to have bumped Rocky Callisto off the ball. Esposito calmly converted the spot kick. Referee Daniel Elder pointed to the spot once again just before half time when Perry Mitris was adjudged to have handballed in the area. Esposito stepped up again and smashed home to give Metro a 4-0 half time lead. The game remained goalless in the second half. Lewis Moss made a superb stop to deny Nahuel Bonada. Veteran midfielder Fabian Babiero was shown a red card for retaliating after Kasumovic kicked the ball into Stefan Cali was pulled down. The defeat saw West Adelaide relegated to State League 1 and MetroStars finish in 6th position.
Meanwhile Raiders are coming off a somewhat surpsing 3-1 loss at home to Adelaide Blue Eagles. Goals from Annicchiarico and a penalty from Kounavelis gave Blues a two goal head start before Terrance Carter pulled one back from the spot. Shekubah Hutton-Addy sealed the win for the Azzuri and denied Raiders a second chance in the finals series. MetroStars and Raiders have traded away wins in the regular season in what could be a good omen for Saturday. MetoStars now shattered their 8 game winless streak with three wins in a row and two clean sheets.
Michael D'Aloisio is fit to play after overcoming a calf injury. Fabian Barbiero will miss this game due to suspension so coach Rob Saraceno may look to move Anthony Solagna up into midfield. Dylan Smith, Lachlan Barr, Tom Strain are unlikely to feature. Justin Davis and Nick Menechella are both out with season ending injuries.
MetroStars Squad: 1. Isaac Carmody, 3. Cohan Morris, 6. Lachlan Barr, 7. Michael D'Aloisio (c), 10. Anthony Solagna, 11. Matthew Charalambous, 12. Benjamin Head, 15. Liam Wooding, 16. Alexander Jakob, 17. Matthew Dawber, 19. Cooper O’Donnell, 20. Cameron O'Doherty, 22. Hamish Gow, 23. Christian Esposito, 24. Nahuel Bonada 25. Jackson O’Donnell, 26. Stefan Cali
Raiders Squad: 13. Nick Munro (GK), 5. Adam van Dommele, 6. Omari Didero, 7. Jackson Walls, 8. Rocky Visconte, 11. David Carosi, 14. Oliver Zafiridis, 16. Ambesager Yosief, 18. Joshua Mori, 21. Jake Monaco, 30. Giovanni Previtali, 33. Mark Ulaj, 91. Yasmin Sudic, 99. Emanuel Philip
Christian Esposito has been in great form recently and has scored four goals in two games. Photo credit: Adam Butler
Form (last 5 games):
West Adelaide 0-4 MetroStars
MetroStars 4-2 Adelaide City
Adelaide Blue Eagles 0-2 MetroStars
MetroStars 0-2 Raiders
MetroStars 1-2 Adelaide Olympic
Raiders 1-3 Adelaide Blue Eagles
Croydon 1-1 Raiders
Raiders 2-1 Para Hills Knights
MetroStars 0-2 Raiders
Raiders 4-0 South Adelaide
Last 5 meetings:
27.7.19 - MetroStars 0-2 Raiders
27.4.19 - Raiders 0-1 MetroStars
4.6.16 - MetroStars 1-0 Raiders
5.3.16 - Raiders 0-1 MetroStars
13.6.15 - MetroStars 1-0 Raiders
A late Dylan Smith goal give MetroStars a 1-0 at the Croatian Sports Centre in April. Photo credit: Adam Butler
Come and join us Saturday afternoon for a massive game of football! The game will be live streamed on the Football Federation South Australia Facebook and YouTube pages. Alternatively, you can follow live updates on our Twitter @NE_MetroStars or by using the hashtag #MetroStars.
Daniel Cook - Referee
Ian Crossing - Assistant Referee 1
TBA - Assistant Referee 2
Andrew Kite - 4th Official
Raiders vs. MetroStars
Saturday 24th August - 3PM
Reserves | MetroStars vs. Adelaide United 12:30PM
Under 18 | FFSA NTC vs. MetroStars 10AM
Croatian Sports Centre, Gepps Cross