Sydney Olympic extended their unbeaten run in the PS4 National Premier League NSW men’s 1 competition with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown Football Park.
Defending was thrown out the door in the highly entertaining round 8 fixture which saw Sydney Olympic score four goals in a frantic 32 minute period in the first half to take a 4-1 lead into the half-time break.
The Spartans fought back in the second half scoring two goals within minutes of each other but it wasn’t meant to be.
Sydney Olympic started the end to end action with a chance in the first minute of play.
Taiga Soeda dispossessed Shu Sasaki before playing William Angel through on goal. The winger took one touch before skewing his shot wide of the right hand upright.
The Spartans responded within two minutes as Mitch Long curled a lovely ball into the box beating two Olympic defenders before Brayden Sorge got back to clear to safety.
Sorge was not as lucky in the 7th minute when Futa Nakamura easily got past him before cutting back to a free Daniel Fogarty who slotted the ball into the net.
Their lead would not last long however with Angel finding space on the left again, squaring the ball to Dimitri Hatzimouratis who toe poked the ball under oncoming Spartans goalkeeper Carlos Saliadarre.
Despite conceding the Spartans continued to pin Olympic in their own half forcing them to play on the counter.
Sasaki was next to test the Olympic defence forcing a great save out of Paul Henderson in the 16th minute.
Sorge made up for his earlier mistake with a great assist to help his side take the lead in the 23rd minute. The right back advanced up the touchline with the ball before providing a pin point low cross to Harris Gaitatzis. The midfielder made no mistake tapping the ball into the bottom left hand corner making it 2-1.
Confidence was high for Olympic and they would extend their lead four minutes later as an unmarked Brendan Hooper rose well to head the ball into the goal.
Another perfect counter attack in the 41st minute brought Olympic’s fourth goal.
This time Go Shirai was put through on goal from a beautifully weighted ball over the top before being fouled in the box. Gaitatzis stepped up to score the penalty giving his side a three goal buffer going into the break.
Spartans came out of the shed firing and had a goal within three minutes. Sasaki fed a lovely ball to Fogarty on the right whose cross was deflected into the net making it 4-2.
The home side turned the match into a real fight when Jake Douglas brought it back to 4-3 in the 50th minute. Sasaki was the main orchestrator again, feeding a lovely ball to Fogarty whose cross was met by Nakamura who stepped past one defender before squaring to the striker who calmly slotted the ball to the right of Henderson.
Olympic kept the counter attack tactic going and had another chance in the 66th minute with Michael Gaitatzis heading on a free kick to Hatzimouratis but the striker could only chip the ball over the bar.
The home side were very unlucky to not equalize in the 78th minute when Fogarty saw his shot blast the right hand post.
Despite repeated attempts the Spartans could not equalise with Olympic taking home the three points.
Following the match Blacktown Spartans head coach Ben De Haan said lapse in concentration hurt his side’s chances of victory.
“It was a big lapse (of concentration),” De Haan said.
“I went into the half time break unsure of what to say because we held most of the ball, the build ups were good.
“To score three goals, concede four and probably should have scored another few with Daniel Fogarty hitting the bar twice there are positive signs.
“But when you don’t win you can say whatever you like.
“We have Bonnyrigg next week which will be tough but that’s what we need because to I feel our guys need to see this is the time of intensity we have to be playing at every week.”
In the away change rooms Sydney Olympic coach Grant Lee was happy to have taken home the three points after a tough encounter.
“We let them into the match,” Lee said.
“We are in the back end of playing seven games in 21 days so it is tough to back up mentally and physically.
“We forced two changes at half time which shouldn’t make a difference but it did.
“Credit to Spartans they put us under a lot of pressure and once they scored the early goal an then the other it was 4-3 and we were under the pump.
“They had a couple of great opportunities where they could have punished us but fortunately for us it didn’t happen.”
Blacktown Spartans 3 (Fogarty 7’, Markovic O.G 48’, Douglas 50’)
Sydney Olympic 4 (Hatzimouratis 9’, H. Gaitatzis 23’, 41’ Hooper 27’)
Venue: Blacktown Football Park
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant referees: Joon Park and Andreas Leydon
Fourth Official: M. Bailey
Blacktown Spartans: Saliadarre ©, Agathos, Crighton, Dukic, Fogarty (Da Silva 89’), Kondek, Long (Douglas 46’), Nakamura, Quigley, Sasaki, Tanner
Substitutions not used: Nascimben, Tomohiro, Valastro
Yellow cards: Fogarty 35’, Agathos 58’, Sasaki 72’, Nakamura 89’
Red cards: nil
Sydney Olympic: Henderson, Angel (M.Gaitatzis 46’), H.Gaitatzis, Hatzimouratis (Madonis 83’), Hooper, Markovic ©, Shirai, Soeda, Sorge, Spyrakis, Tsattalios (Egger 46’)
Substitutions not used: Dimitrakis, Green
Yellow cards: Hooper 44’, Spyrakis 59’, Egger 75’
Red cards: nil
3- Futa Nakamura (BS)
2- Brayden Sorge (SO)
1-Harris Gaitatzis (SO)
– by Chris Georges, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Blacktown Football Park