There’s a quote, ‘good things come in threes’, and for Football Federation South Australia’s Round of 32 entrant it is proving to be spot on after they reached the Final Rounds for the third year running.
MetroStars are gaining a reputation of being a clutch big game team that knows what it takes to win when the stakes are high.
They relish the big stage and will now prepare for a third consecutive crack at a magical Westfield FFA Cup run.
MetroStars are one of three FFSA clubs who have featured in the Westfield FFA Cup Final Rounds, along with Croydon Kings and Adelaide City, the team MetroStars beat on Saturday night in the Round of 32 decider.
League: PS4 NPL South Australia
Home Venue: TK Shutter Reserve (Fourth Avenue, Klemzig)
Head Coach: Robbie Saraceno
How they qualified
MetroStars 3 (Carmine Pascarella 3’, Liam Wooding 57’/85’)
Adelaide Olympic 3 (Christos Pounendis 7’/29’/31’)
MetroStars won 4-3 on penalties
Cumberland United 1 (Frank Marafioti 22’ (pen))
MetroStars 5 (Matthew Dawber 3’/6’/16’/59’, Christian Esposito 54’)
MetroStars 4 (Liam Wooding 30’ (pen)/49’, Jonathan Negus 83’, Christian Esposito 88’)
Croydon Kings 2 (Rocco Visconte 48’, Antoni Trimboli 69’)
Adelaide City 0
MetroStars 2 (Jonathan Negus 7’, Christian Esposito 64’)
Westfield FFA Cup history
2014 - Did not qualify for the Round of 32
2015 - Knocked out in Round of 16 by Oakleigh Cannons 1-0 at Elite Systems Football Centre, Angle Park
2016 - Knocked out in Round of 32 by Bentleigh Greens 3-3 (4-3 on penalties) at Elite Systems Football Centre, Angle Park
MetroStars’ 2017 Cup campaign almost ended at the first hurdle as they were forced to pull a rabbit out of the hat in their opening Preliminary Round match against fellow PS4 NPL side Adelaide Olympic.
A first half hat-trick by Olympic’s Christos Pounendis saw MetroStars down 3-1 at half time and staring at an early exit. But Liam Wooding’s second half brace tied the scores and that’s the way it stayed through extra time before the home side scraped over the line 4-3 on penalties.
From there, the further the Preliminary Rounds went and the bigger the games became, the more MetroStars grew in confidence. One needs to look no further than when MetroStars won three straight matches away from home against the best PS4 NPL teams in WA, Victoria and NSW on their way to being crowned PlayStation 4 NPL 2014 Champions of Australia as evidence of their resolve and ability to perform in clutch situations.
In their record of Westfield FFA Cup Final Round matches, MetroStars’ two past losses have come against PS4 NPL opposition from Victoria, while their solitary scalp was a noteworthy one, a come from behind 2-1 away win over New South Wales powerhouse Blacktown City in 2015.
Names in MetroStars’ current squad that could be familiar to those outside of the City of Churches include former Adelaide United duo Adam van Dommele and Fabian Barbiero, while striker Liam Wooding also spent time on the Reds’ youth list. But there are a host of others that have played crucial roles in MetroStars’ rise to another Round of 32 berth, and if they go deep in the Final Rounds there is a fair chance we’ll be hearing a lot more about them.