Young Reds bow out in agonising fashion


In the most heartbreaking of circumstances, Adelaide United Youth suffered a 1-0 defeat to MetroStars thanks to a last-gasp winner and ending its National Premier League finals campaign.

It was very much a scrappy affair played in conditions not conducive to good football with chances few and far between in the Elimination Final.

Adelaide arguably edged the hosts on the balance of play but in the 93rd minute of the clash Matthew Dawber connected with Anthony Solagna’s pin-point cross to head past Isaac Richards.

The Young Reds were on the offensive early and looked to apply pressure on Metro’s defensive line.

Carlo Armiento had two opportunities to threaten the scoresheet. His first angled shot struck the side netting before firing a stinging half-volley over the crossbar.

The match struggled to kick into gear for the majority of the first-half as it was an arm wrestle in midfield. The bumpy surface, compounded by strong wind gusts made it even more difficult for either team to really play with any fluidity.

After the re-start, United got on the front foot and created a couple of decent openings but their profligacy in front of goal would come back to haunt them.

Kusini Yengi missed a free header from Armiento’s accurate cross into the box on 66 minutes.

However, the biggest opportunity of the match occurred 13 minutes later when an unmarked Lachlan Brook at the back post was unable to convert a low cut-back from close range.

And as the game appeared destined for extra-time Dawber scored a header with virtually the last touch of the game and condemning the Young Reds to a second-round exit.


Key moments:

2’ | Taras Gomulka chips a delightful ball over the defence which Armiento latches onto and drives his effort into the side net.

8’ | Brook’s flick on finds Armiento and he sweetly makes contact a half-volleyed attempt which flies just high of the bar.

51’ | A diagonal switch from Brook is headed on by Paul Wilson and into the path of Yengi, but the latter’s header takes a deflection and lands off-target.

66’ | Yengi rises highest but is unable to steer his header past Isaac Carmody after meeting Armiento’s delivery.

79’ | Armiento surges forward and threads a pass to Yengi on the left, who squares the ball across the face of goal which finds Brook but a tame right-footed shot prevents Adelaide from breaking the deadlock.

90’+3’ | GOAL: Dawber steals it with a header at the death from Solagna’s cross from the left flank.

Reserves
Meanwhile, Adelaide United’s Reserves suffered an 8-7 aggregate loss following a 5-3 defeat in the second leg against MetroStars in the earlier clash.

Full-Time
Adelaide United 3
MetroStars 5