A second-half bomb by Harris Gaitatzis was enough for Sydney Olympic FC to ease past Sydney United 58 FC 1-0 at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon.
Much was on the line for both teams for different reasons. For Olympic, a win could see them move into third spot while for United 58 only victory and other results going there way would mean finals football for the Edensor Park based side.
The first real chance came the way of Olympic with almost 15 minutes gone.
Will Angel played in a teasing ball toward Dimitri Hatzimouratis only for United 58 goalkeeper Justin Pasfield to get down quickly and save.
Angel seemed to be the go-to man for Olympic and he forced a fantastic fingertip save from Pasfield shortly after.
With five yellow cards handed out by Stephen Lucas inside the first 30 minutes, tough tackling and constant break up of play was the story of the first half.
Olympic woke the home faithful straight away after the restart, opening the scoring in the 47th minute through Gaitatzis. A layoff by Hatzimouratis found Sorge who delivered a fantastic ball into the box from the right.
Gaitatzis dropped the ball for Scott Balderson who forced Pasfield into a fantastic save. What came next gave Pasfield no chance as the substitute volleyed home the rebound into the back of the net.
The home side continued their ferocious start and only a minute later could’ve doubled the advantage. Again Sorge was the provider with an inch perfect cross for Balderson whose header went agonizingly wide of a beaten Pasfield’s post.
United 58 captain Ibrahim Haydar looked to get his team back into the match but his header from a corner went wide.
It was almost two in the 72nd minute as Michael Gaitatzis lined up a free kick. Gaitatzis’ strike went over the wall and looked to be heading in, only for a back tracking Peter Triantis to clear off the line.
Two substitutes in Gaitatzis and Go Shirai combined on the outside of the box as Gaitatzis let fly, only for Pasfield to save well.
United had a chance in the second minute of stoppage time but Peter Triantis’ effort went wide of Paul Henderson’s goal.
Grant Lee’s side has been tested over recent weeks with a busy schedule but he was pleased with the teams performance.
“It was good, we’ve had a couple hard weeks with having to go to Canberra to play in the FFA Cup.
“It was mental more than anything with Sydney United having a lot to play for so there was a lot of niggle in the game, real crunch time football.
“It was a tough game to play and I was really happy.”
Despite not finishing in third place, Lee wasn’t too fazed.
“There was a poor period where we went to sleep in the middle of the season but the boys are playing well now and it’s five on the trot for us.
“Playing in the FFA Cup next round, keeping another clean sheet and playing finals football is nice so I’m happy.”
Even if United won they wouldn’t have finished in the top five, assistant coach Jerry Bilokapic was slightly disappointed with the league finish.
“With the players we brought to the club everyone is a bit disappointed.
“The boys gave it all they had, destiny was out of our hands today.”
Bilokapic found some positives for United in 2015.
“We’ve done well in winning the two cups so we’ll just build on that and build on toward next year.”
Sunday 16th August, 2015
Belmore Sports Ground, Belmore
Sydney Olympic 1 (H. Gaitatzis 47’)
Sydney United 58 0
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referees: Kearney Robinson & Adam Vainauskas
Fourth Official: Daniel Stack
Sydney Olympic: Henderson, Sorge, Danaskos, Spyrakis, Hooper, Angel (H. Gaitatzis 33’), Hatzimouratis, Balderson (Shirai 66’), Egger, Soeda, Gaitatzis.M (Madonis 84’)
Substitutes Not Used:
Yellow Cards: Egger 4’, Henderson 4’, Spyrakis 10
Sydney United 58: Pasfield, Bertolisso (Mileski 62’), Bilic, Giannaros, Haydar, Paric, C. Triantis, P. Triantis, Vlismas, Zuvela, Taneski (Tomelic 62’)
Substitutes Not Used: Babic, Bosma
Yellow Cards: Paric 23’, P. Triantis 28’, Haydar 90+2’
by Nikola Pozder, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter