Captain, Josh Mori’s heroic brace was not enough in Adelaide United’s hard fought contest with MetroStars, falling 2-3 in Round 19 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.
Mori had equalised after an Alex Jakob opener, but a double from Christian Esposito had ultimately sealed the win.
Mori’s second goal exploded the start of a comeback, but the Reds could not find the vital goal for a share of the spoils in the end.
The first 15 minutes of the contest was tight, as both sides were trying to find their rhythm.
An early chance for Adelaide arose, as Apostolos Stamatelopoulos swiftly slipped away from his marker to run into space and deliver a ball through to Lachlan Brook on the edge of the box.
Brook tried to swerve in and out of Metro’s bustling defence, but was thwarted before he could pull the trigger.
16 minutes into the match, a header won by Jonathan Negus saw it find Jakob, who won a header of his own after a scramble in the box, to head it over Isaac Richards for the lead.
Following an even amount of possession and physicality, Kristin Konstandopoulos released an exceptional pass to Mori whose first attempt at an equaliser was knocked away by Metro gloveman, Isaac Carmody.
With Mori gracing in the perfect position with anticipation, his second-chance effort was slotted away for the leveller, just over the half hour mark.
Shortly following the Reds’ eruption, Esposito stepped up to take an awarded spot-kick for the hosts.
Regaining the lead, Esposito struck through the middle of the net, sending a diving Richards to the right.
Two minutes after, Adelaide United were caught off-guard, and on the counter-attack, Esposito headed in to double the lead before the halftime break.
The Reds needed a big second half, and on the hour mark, the courageous Mori struck venomously from distance, burning into the back of the net to make it 2-3.
Both teams began to push for the game-changing goal, and in the 85th minute, defender, Zak Waters sent a ball towards goal from the edge of the area, but it was deflected and eventually cleared by the Metro cavalry.
Fabian Barbiero came close to sealing the three points in the 87th minute, as he launched a shot from outside the 18-yard box and over the bar.
Pouncing forward again, Barbiero beautifully flicked the ball off the back of his boot to Matthew Dawber, looking for that goal.
Richards’ cat-like reflexes saw him dive and palm the shot away from danger.
In injury time, Mori swung a shot from distance that merely missed the target to equalise once more, as Metro came away with the win.
Adelaide United 4