TEN man Sydney Olympic ground out an impressive 3-0 victory over the South Coast Wolves to start the PS4 National Premier League NSW Men’s 1 competition on a high at Belmore Sports Ground.
It was an all Japanese affair on the scoresheet for Olympic with attacker Go Shirai and stand in skipper Taiga Soeda finding the back of the net in a lacklustre opening round fixture.
The home side’s win was all the more special after enigmatic winger William Angel was sent from the field in the first half leaving Olympic with 10 men for majority of the match.
Sydney Olympic opened the Wolves up on the right hand side early with quick first time passes in the middle of the park before finding an advancing Brayden Sorge on the right whose early cross failed to find a teammate.
South Coast returned the favour a minute later with a free kick from the right curling wide of the mark.
Dimitri Hatzimouratis found the ball with space in front of him in the 8th minute, attacking a retreating Wolves defence but could only shoot the ball past the left hand upright.
Opposing striker Peter Simonoski almost capitalised on a defensive mistake, winning the ball before beating Leigh Egger into the box only for a retreating defender to clear the ball out for the corner in the 14th minute.
The Wolves saw a golden chance go begging a minute as left back Darcy Madden headed the ball over the bar from point blank range.
Sorge threw more caution to the Wolves on the right hand side in the 20th minute with a fantastic low cross to the near post aimed at Hatzimouratis well gathered by Thomas Hamilton.
The lacklustre opening to the match took a wild twist in the 27th minute when Olympic’s William Angel was shown a straight red card after kicking the legs of a Wolves player from behind.
Despite being one man down the home side took the lead five minutes later with Go Shirai getting on the end of a ball over the top of the defence, touching the ball past Hamilton and shooting the ball into the open net.
With the numerical advantage South Coast made their intentions clear as they came out of the blocks firing in the second half.
Madden made a great run down the left hand side in the 49th minute cutting back to a free Bradley Welch whose shot went sailing over the bar.
Minutes later the Wolves went even closer as Christopher Price’s corner was met by Simonoski who just missed the target at the near post.
Olympic were not resting on their laurels and continued to attack at every opportunity.
David Stojic was next to have a strike for the away side getting on the end of a failed clearance with a great strike forcing Paul Henderson into a diving save on 59 minutes.
Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte sensed his side needed some fresh legs in attack and made a double substitution two minutes later with George COdrea and Jordan Murray replacing Bradley Welch and Jordan Lavalle.
Olympic’s failed to clear the ball in the 74th minute giving the Wolves a chance to equalise only for Murray to scuff his shot straight into the hands of a waiting Henderson.
The failed opportunities came back to haunt the Wolves in the dying minutes when Olympic scored two to put the game to bed.
First Go Shirai threw his hat into the ring with an early contender for goal of the season, his fantastic strike from 25 yards curling into the top right hand corner before Taiga Soeda tapped the ball in from a counter a minute later.
Following the match Sydney Olympic head coach Grant Lee was pleased with his side’s win despite a scrappy start.
“I think the conditions today with the wind ripping down the middle of the park was pretty strong maybe played a little bit of a part,” he said.
“It was a silly send-off but then it kicked us into gear a bit and we were never realy tested after that.
“With 10 men for 60 to 65 minutes of the game we never really felt tested, I thought we did very well with our shape and effort and it was a nice result.”
In the away dressing room South Coast head coach Nahuel Arrarte was furious with his side’s application.
“We are very disappointed but full credit to Sydney Olympic to go down to 10 men and win but it is unacceptable on our behalf,” he said.
“We sort of fell apart and at the end we were sort of chasing the game so that can happen.
“But it is not acceptable from our perspective and I can’t explain that.”
Sydney Olympic 3 (Shirai 32’, 87’, Soeda 88’)
South Coast Wolves 0
Sunday March 15, 2015
Belmore Sports Ground, Belmore
Referee: Khodr Yaghi
Assistant Referees: Daniel Stack and Patrick Teleki
Fourth Official: Matthew McOrist
Sydney Olympic: Henderson, Angel, Balderson (H. Gaitatzis 66’), Egger, Fondyke, Hatzimouratis (Keir 80’), Shirai, Soeda ©, Sorge, Hooper, Tsattalios (Spyrakis 54’)
Substitutions not used: Dimitrakis, Spyrakis, M. Gaitatzis
Yellow Cards: Tsattalios 40’, Egger 84’
Red Cards: Angel 27’
South Coast Wolves: Hamilton, Alsaad, Baldacchino, Griffin (Matthews 80’), Lavalle (Murray 61’), Mackenzie, Madden, Price ©, Simonoski, Stojic, Welch (Codrea 61’)
Substitutions not used: Manos, Fielding
Yellow Cards: Madden 27’, Baldacchino 35’
3- Go Shirai (SO)
2- Taiga Soeda (SO)
1 – Leigh Egger (SO)
– by Chris Georges, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Belmore Sports Ground