Match Report: Raiders 1-3 MetroStars
MetroStars continue strong run of form to overcome Adelaide Croatia
The Round 11 clash between Adelaide Croatia Raiders and MetroStars was shaping up to be an essential game for MetroStars season. They were in a rich vein of form and wanted to continue this.
The game seemed to start at double speed as both teams were scrambling around the field. Justin Davis combined with Josh Mori down the right hand side and his cross found Alessio Melisi 45 seconds into the game. A fantastic header was put past the goalkeeper and the away side had an early lead.
The Raiders had all field position for the large part of the proceeding half but MetroStars stood form.
16 minutes in it looked like Massimo Falco would bring the home side level when he sent a strong volley at the goal, however it went flying wide.
Shortly after Solagna went down for the 2nd time with an injury, and he was forced to leave the field for Rocky Callisto. We hope for a speedy recovery and that he’ll be back out on the pitch next week.
24 minutes in, the Raiders somehow didn’t score when Omari Didero found himself free at the back post, unfortunately he couldn’t find the target with his header.
While MetroStars continued in solid defence, the counter attacks were flowing with Mori and Piol leading the charge. A goal could have been coming from either team.
The ending of the half was filled with multiple long clearances by MetroStars defence before Raiders would regain possession and build up into an attacking position. No real chances were created however.
At half-time MetroStars had 3 shots, 2 on target, compared to Adelaide Croatia’s 6 shots with 4 on target. There were also 3 yellow cards showing the physicality of the match.
The second half started just as good as the first for MetroStars when Hamish Gow put over a 50 metre through ball to find Joshua Mori in behind the Raiders defence. He managed to execute the perfect chip shot over the advancing keeper to complete a magnificent 2nd goal.
3 minutes after the MetroStars goal the Raiders thought they had struck back when Jackson Walls found the head of Falco, only for the Assistant Referee to raise his flag and indicate he was in an offside position.
Adelaide Croatia Raiders had chance after chance which included some strong saves from Carmody as well as a note-worthy clearance off the line from Ariath Piol.
70 minutes in, MetroStars looked destined to put the game out of reach with a 3rd goal. Dylan Smith intercepted a clearance and he put through Mori on goal, very similar to his goal earlier, however this time he put the ball just over the crossbar.
11 minutes before the end of the game Adelaide Croatia devastatingly missed a shot when Falco was served a volley on a platter in front of goal. He could only manage to place the ball wide of the goal.
3 minutes later MetroStars finally did put the game beyond reach. Piol’s constant pressing finally paid off when he got onto the end of a loose passback and dribbled around the defenseless goalkeeper to then slot it into the back of the net. 3-nil to the away side and the game was beyond doubt now.
In the 2nd minute of additional time Mori nearly sent the away fans into further celebrations when he sent a shot from 18 yards out just over the bar, another cheeky chip, this one just wide.
The Raiders were able to claim a goal back in the 5th minute of injury time, an unfortunate own goal from Cooper O’Donnell, meaning MetroStars missed out on the clean sheet.
This was a solid performance from the away side as they won 3-1, a tough challenge. Next week MetroStars have a Saturday night home game against Adelaide Comets and they will hope to continue this run of form. They are currently in 2nd place, 1 place behind Adelaide City in first. They are showing themselves as real title contenders and it is joyous to watch the games as a fan.