Sydney Olympic has bounced back from the sudden resignation of coach Jaime Monroy to deliver an inspired 2-1 win against former PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition leaders APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Lambert Park on Sunday.
The sudden departure of Portuguese head coach Jaime Monroy proved no distraction for the visitors as they notched their fifth win of the season in impressive style with interim manager Peter Zorbas.
Olympic gave their travelling fans a performance to be proud of as they raced out of the block with Yu Kuboki and Radovan Pavicevic finding the net during the first half.
APIA struggled to find their way into the way during what was a lethargic performance from Danial Cummins’ top of the table side. A late goal from tricky winger Corey Bizco proved to be a mere consolation for the home side as they suffered only their second defeat of the season.
The first half proved to be a tense affair with both sides creating few chances. Both teams were quick to get on each other’s nerves with plenty of robust tackling creating some heated moments.
Olympic was the first to find a break through with Kuboki getting on the end of a stunning Pavicevic cross to give the visitors the lead.
The hosts looked to respond and star man Sekiya stung the palms of Paul Henderson just before the 15-minute mark with a rasping shot.
Olympic doubled their lead shortly after.
An accurate set piece from Max Burgess found Pavicevic who glanced a header into the far side of the net after breaking free of his mark in the box.
The second half was best described as a physical battle of attrition as both teams fought doggedly in midfield for control of proceedings.
Olympic held the upper hand and a Niko Tsattalios cross was barely cleared out for a corner before Mitchell Stamatellis volleyed over the crossbar moments later.
The game opened up in the 70th minute when Sekiya had a shot saved after a mazing run. Luckily for the hosts Corey Biczo was on hand to finish it off and cut Olympic’s lead to 2-1.
The home side kept trying for an equaliser but to no avail.
Firstly, a header which went over the bar from Nathan Millgate before Matthew West was denied by Henderson.
Olympic had the chance to add a third goal but a desperate Tigers defence blocked shots from Hagi Gligor and Pavicevic.
Interim Olympic coach Peter Zorbas was full of praise from his side’s response to what was a difficult week for the club.
“Jaime’s resignation was unfortunate but the response today was important and it was nothing short of fantastic,” he said.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers Coach Danial Cummins said small errors cost his side.
“It was a tough game, they’re a good side,” he said.
“It was the worst time to play them after the week they had. Two silly errors cost us two goals. It’s as simple as that”.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Biczo 70’)
Sydney Olympic 2 (Pavicevic 9’, Kuboki 36’)
Sunday, April 30 2017
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: M. Weiner
Assistant Referees: J. Tesoriero & P. Teleki
Fourth Official: T. Plasto
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 22. Luke Turnbull, 2. Nathan Millgate, 3. Paul Galimi, 4. Joshua Symons, 8. Corey Biczo, 11. Jordan Murray (45’ 9. Matthew West), 15. Themba Muata-Marlow, 16. Sean Symons, 18. Adrian Ucchino (60’ 10. Franco Parisi), 19. Brandon Lundy, 20. Tasuku Sekiya.
Substitutes not used: 1. Blake Tuxford, 7. Sean O’Connell, 26. Christian Theuma
Yellow cards: Galimi, J. Symons, West, Sekiya,
Red cards: N/A
Sydney Olympic: 1. Paul Henderson, 5. Yianni Spyrakis 6. Mitchell Stamatellis, 7. Will Angel, 8. Jason Madonis, 9. Radovan Pavicevic, 10. Darcy Burgess (72’ 4. Tom Whiteside), 12. Yu Kuboki (90’ 15. Sebastion Malfara), 14. Max Burgess, 33. Niko Tsattalios (78’ 99. Paul Katsetis).
Substitutes not used: 20. Eze Consoni, 23. Tass Mourdoukoutas.
Yellow cards: Angel, Kuboki, Tsattalios, M. Burgess, Whiteside, Pavicevic
Red cards: N/A
3- Radovan Pavicevic (SO)
2- Max Burgess (SO)
1- Corey Biczo (Apia)
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Justin Smith