Sensational strikes from Mamadi Kamara and Carlo Armiento allowed Adelaide City to progress to the 2017 PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues SA Grand Final after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over MetroStars in the second leg of their Major Semi Final.
By Michael Barbaro
The victory saw City win 3-1 on aggregate after last week’s 1-0 scoreline at TK Shutter Reserve.
MetroStars began the clash with a spark; signifying their intent to attack from the start.
The visitors justified this, breaking the deadlock just after 12 minutes through full-back Justin Davis.
Christian Esposito’s brilliant play allowed him to get to the byline before cutting to the back-post where Davis fired in from close-range.
Minutes later, City almost equalised in spectacular fashion.
Mamadi Kamara collected the ball outside the 18 yard box, skipped past two defenders before firing a shot into the crossbar, coming within inches of the goal.
Four minutes later, City were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position after Tim Henderson fouled Anthony Costa.
Nic Bucco stepped up to take the set-piece, only to be denied by a brilliant save from an outstretched Isaac Carmody.
It was beginning to be an open and attacking encounter by both teams in search of the game’s second goal.
Liam Wooding and Negus were both denied by good Ryan Veitch saves before the break, while Carmody parried a Kamara shot.
Adelaide City went into the half-time break trailing the visitors 1-0; Mori’s men knew it was going to take something special to overturn the deficit after an unlucky first half.
Eight minutes after the referee resumed proceedings, City levelled the score.
Kamara received the ball out wide before cutting in and again skimming past two defenders.
However, the winger this time unleashed a thunderous drive below the crossbar, sending the City faithful into raptures.
It was a vital goal for City, as they’d been denied by heroics in the opening half.
In the 58th minute, City thought they’d taken the lead, after Evan Kostopoulos was spectacularly denied on the goal line by Henderson.
MetroStars pressed in search of the vital second away goal, and Veitch again saved a Wooding shot.
However, in the 88th minute City booked their ticket to the Grand Final through replacement Carlo Armiento.
City had received a free-kick from 35 yards for a foul on Anthony Costa.
Armiento stepped up to take the kick, and the 18 year-old fired home with a rocket of a shot from his left boot.
This put the game beyond doubt for his side, as they move into their second-successive Grand Final appearance.
The match will be played at Coopers Stadium in two weeks time, and City will play the winner of next week’s Preliminary Final between MetroStars and Croydon.