APIA Leichhardt Tigers remained winless in the 2014 IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 campaign after going down 3-1 to traditional rivals Sydney Olympic on Good Friday at Lambert Park.
Debutant and former Sydney FC player Marc Warren opened the scoring for APIA but goals from Evan Kostopoulos, Harris Gaitatzis and Christopher Godoy-Bascur overturned the deficit to send the blue and whites home 3-1 victors.
Kostopoulos was proving an early headache for the Tigers as he tormented new recruit Warren, playing his first game for his new side.
In the 12′ minute the Tigers almost had the lead after a goal-mouth scramble from a corner. Brad McDonald whipped in the ball to the far post as Olympic failed to clear their lines.
The ball fell to Jamie Lobb who shot toward goal but a smart save from Paul Henderson ensured the scores would stay level.
A couple of minutes later and Olympic had an opportunity of their own. Michael Gaitatzis had an effort from distance but his volley went just wide of Andrew Bazi’s goal.
David D’Apuzzo then made a great run down the left and crossed in a teasing ball ball but no one could get on the end of it to give APIA the lead.
The Tigers should have had the lead in the 27′ minute. Franco Parisi sent through McDonald who hit a powerful effort toward goal. Henderson had to make a double save as the rebound fell again to McDonald who couldn’t finish.
The real chance fell to Matthew Mayora though as he had an open goal to aim at, instead, he skied his effort high over the bar.
Olympic had a great opportunity to take the lead as Harris Gaitatzis hit a sizzling free kick from 20 metres out only for the ball to smack the crossbar and go over.
The Tigers had their lead six minutes after the restart.
Great work by Parisi and Mayora down the right saw the latter deliver a quality ball across goal for the on rushing Warren. The former Sky Blue player made no mistake with his finish, burying the ball into Henderson’s top left corner, giving the Olympic keeper no chance.
In the 61′ minute Olympic had their equaliser. Great work down the left by Troy Danaskos saw him cross in a low ball for Kostopoulos who made no mistake with the finish inside the six yard box.
With 15′ minutes to go Olympic thought they had the lead. Kostopoulos was on hand to tap the ball home again but there was an offside in the lead up.
Tigers goal keeper Bazi then slid in on Kostopoulos and after the referee consulted his assistant he pointed to the spot. Bazi picked the correct side but Harris Gaitatzis’ penalty had too much on it to give Olympic the lead.
With six minutes to go Mayora should’ve found the equaliser but his effort went high over the bar.
It was then Kostopoulos’ turn again to try and put the game to bed. He dribbled through the Tigers defence but Bazi saved well.
Olympic substitute Christopher Godoy-Bascur then drove the final nail into the coffin in stoppage time as he placed the ball into the bottom right corner of Bazi’s goal to seal an important Olympic victory.
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Marc Warren 51’)
Sydney Olympic 3 (Evan Kostopoulos 61’, HarrisGaitatzis 78’ [PEN], Christopher Godoy-Bascur 92’)
Friday 18th April 2014
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant Referees: James Tesoriero and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Kearney Robinson
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 21.Andrew Bazi; 13.David D’Apuzzo, 6.Daniel Fogarty, 7.Stephen Kayes (16.Jordan Simpson 62’), 3.Jamie Lobb, 15.Matthew Mayora (9.Aman Hadid 86’), 2.Travis Oughtred, 10.Franco Parisi, 18.Marc Warren, 5.Michael West (C), 8.Brad McDonald.
Substitutes Not Used: 40.Stefan Giglio, 20.Patrick Crane
Yellow Cards: Matthew Mayora 75’, Jordan Simpson 80’, Marc Warren 82’
Red Card: Nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 1.Paul Henderson (C); 7.William Angel, 3.Troy Danaskos, 10.Harris Gaitatzis (8.Christopher Godoy-Bascur 91’), 39. Michael Gaitatzis (9.Dimitri Hatzimouratis 66’), 4.Brendan Hooper, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 14.Petar Markovic, 18.Taiga Soeda, 2.Brayden Sorge, 33.Christos Tomaras (Amaury Gauthier 77’)
Substitutes Not Used: 12.Kresimir Kardum, 19.Go Shirai.
Yellow Cards: Taiga Soeda 23’, Evan Kostopoulos 83′
Red Card: Nil
3 – Evan Kostopoulos (SO)
2 – Taiga Soeda (SO)
1 – Marc Warren (ALT)
– By Nikola Pozder, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Lambert Park