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MetroStars Through To Aus Cup R32

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Written by Football SA.

After a 6-year absence from the Australia Cup national stage following 3 consecutive years in the limelight between 2015-2017, MetroStars are shining bright once again.

A Cittadini brace and Temelkovski masterclass means they deservedly cement themselves in the Round of 32 following their 5-0 win against State League 1 side, West Torrens Birkalla at ServiceFM Stadium tonight.

The two sides had contrasting journeys to the Qualifying Final stage. Current league leaders, MetroStars had dominant wins across rounds 4 to 6, putting 4 goals past each of their opponents in Cumberland United, fellow RAANPLSA big-hitters, Adelaide Comets, and finally newly-promoted State League 1 side, Adelaide Omonia Cobras to seal their qualifying finals birth.

A slight change to MetroStars formation was a surprise tactic from Danny Graystone tonight, pushing RAANPLSA Golden Boot leader, James Temelkovski into a wider role. A cagey opening 20 minutes ensued, however MetroStars maintained the best of possession and appeared to be patiently waiting for their moment to pounce.

They only had to wait until halfway through the opening stanza when club talisman, Temelkovski was able to open the scoring in the 22nd; his shot finding its way into the back of the net through the legs of Birkalla keeper, Nicholas Harpas.

The move energised the side who almost immediately doubled their lead within the following minute through the head of footballing stalwart and last weekend's goal scorer against 2nd placed Campbelltown City, Fabian Barbiero.

The chemistry between attacking duo, Barbiero and Temelkovski paid off only 6 minutes later as Fabian unselfishly chested the ball down within the box to find Temelkovski’s left boot and the back of the net to make it 2-0.

West Torrens Birkalla attempted to recover and snag one back prior to the half-time break through their best effort of the half in the 30th minute, with a rocketing cross from Nicholas Harpas missing the outstretched foot of Bannister.

Just as West Torrens Birkalla were looking to go into the sheds at the break with a 2-goal deficit, MetroStars were able to apply what appeared to be the killer blow as Michael Cittadini’s cross-cum-shot took a favourable deflection and found the back of the net in the 45+2 in what would be the last play of the half.

Birkalla emerged from the tunnel for the second half with a single change as Ethan Stevenson made way for Austyn Scambiatterra with the view to find a quick answer and slow MetroStar’s momentum. It wasn’t to be for Birks as MetroStars continued the one-way traffic through the ever-present, Michael Cittadin. His brace and MetroStar’s 4th goal in the 53rd minute came through a one-two with Temelkovski to dance around Birkalla’s defence, finding space for an effortless finish.

A fifth for MetroStars came through James Temelkovski chalking up his hattrick in the most spectacular fashion possible in the 65th. The number 9's rocket of a scissor kick hit the inner-workings of the crossbar and crossed the line, stunning the crowd with the power of the shot that meant Harpas stood no chance.

MetroStars' Nagamatsu and Cittadini both had opportunities in injury time to extend the scoreline further, however their efforts were off the mark and MetroStars had to settle for the five-goal win.

WT Birkalla 0

MetroStars 5 (Temelkovski 22' 28' 65, Cittadini 45+2' 53')

*This match report was written by Football South Australia.


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