Match Report: MetroStars 3-0 Sturt Lions
The Round 8 clash between MetroStars and Sturt Lions was a must win clash for both sides.
The game started as a very physical affair with aggression from both sides.
8 minutes into the game Melisi got his boot on a shot from close range, leaving the home side up 1-0 early in the game.
It was clear MetroStars were beginning to gel together and their high press was causing all sorts of troubles for the Lions.
MetroStars went into halftime still up 1-0, both teams unable to express themself so far in the game.
73 minutes into the game MetroStars finally found their second goal. Dylan Smith was found after a strong run by Josh Mori, and he slotted it home past the goalkeeper.
79 minutes in, Gonzalo Rodriguez of the Lions was sent from the field after lashing out at his opponent after being fouled. MetroStars capitalised 4 minutes later when Christian Esposito ran through 3 defenders and calmly put the ball past the keeper.
A solid 3-0 victory for MetroStars leaves them in 8th place, however only a win off 3rd place.
The game started off very intense and there were multiple aggressive fouls early on.
8 minutes in a common occurrence for MetroStars happened.
A cross came in from the left foot of Stefan Cali before a challenge in the area where Alessi Melisi shot past the goalkeeper from close range leaving the home side up 1-nil early on.
MetroStars started to gel together as they efficiently pressured the opposition defence as a unit.
12 minutes in, the Lions got very close as Gonzalo Rodriguez attempted a fantastic bicycle kick that was saved at the near post by Isaac Carmody.
MetroStars regained their early dominance, barely letting Sturt out of their own half, while constantly attacking their goals, however, with little effect.
24 minutes in, MetroStars should have had their second when Melissi pick-pocketed his defender, setting up Hamish Gow at the top of the box, but desperate defending preventing him from taking a good shot.
In the 42nd minute, Sturt were unlucky to not level the scores when Carmondy came flying off his line and misjudged the length of the ball, luckily, Rodriguez didn’t get a hold of his shot and it ended up considerably wide.
At halftime both teams stats were rather even, 4 shots to 3, and only 1 shot on target each.
The second half began just as intense as the first half. It wasn’t until 13 minutes in that it looked as though MetroStars had a chance. A large diagonal ball from Kalilou Kamara was chested back by the defender, only for it to be misplaced and Melisi was centimetres away from putting the home side up by two.
64 minutes in, MetroStars again gave up what looked to be a certain goal. Mori found himself with acres of space in the attacking third and he fed Gow in behind the defence, but he was unable to direct his shot on target.
9 minutes later the home side finally found their second. Josh Mori pushed his opponent off the ball inside the box, he then looked up to see 3 passing options in the middle and found Dylan Smith who finished past the goalkeeper for his second goal of the year.
Throughout the second half the Lions looked destined to score off a set piece around the edge of the box, however multiple chances dribbled wide or ended up straight in the ‘keeper's hand.
3 minutes after the second goal, it looked as though a third was coming. Piol headed a ball onto Esposito who managed to play Smith over the top. He had a strong shot on the volley, however the goalkeeper got down well to his right to make a save.
24 minutes into the second half MetroStars were given an advantage when Gonzalo Rodriguez was sent from the field after kicking out at a MetroStars player, leaving the away side two goals down and with 21 minutes still remaining.
A couple of minutes after the send off the home side was in again. Esposito found himself in the space that was created with an extra player, and made it around 3 defenders which left him in a 1 on 1 with James Klappers who was left with no chance against the quality of finishing that Esposito possesses. This was his third goal of the season, a valuable contribution to the side.
Sturt came close to getting a consolation goal when captain Fusco put in a cross from the left, only for his attacker to hit the crossbar with a close range header.
This win left MetroStars in 8th place after 8 games, however only 3 points separate them from 3rd place. Next week's match will be against Adelaide United at Jack Smith Park on Saturday afternoon.