Hakoah Sydney City East and Sydney Olympic shared the points after a dour 0-0 draw on Sunday during their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Hensley Athletic Field.
The result ensured Hakoah stretched their unbeaten run to three straight games while Olympic maintained their hold of fifth position on the table.
Olympic controlled the best part of a gritty match but couldn’t convert the few chances that fell their way.
Hakoah’s struggles in possession meant both managers were ultimately left frustrated by their sides’ performances.
The first twenty minutes passed without a shot from either side, though the visitors were undeniably more comfortable on the ball than their opponents.
Jinya An pulled the strings from the right flank to cause trouble for the Hakoah backline.
Sebastian Malfara registered the first attempt on goal of any interest just before the half hour mark, athletically turning a cross from An towards goal only for a Hakoah defender to deflect the ball away for a corner.
Christopher Gligor drove a long shot narrowly over the crossbar after a clever turn to escape his marker, shortly before his teammate Jason Madonis did the same. Two optimistic attempts seemed to sum up the half as it drew to a close, with a marked improvement needed from both sides in order to open the scoring.
The second half was slightly more open than the first, but was interrupted several times by lengthy stoppages for injuries. Olympic fullback Robert Ezekiel pulled up with an apparent groin strain after a surge down the right flank shortly after the restart, while Yianni Spyrakis left the field soon after a collision in which he himself was booked.
Hakoah were presented with a number of opportunities to break the deadlock midway through the second half, as Gavin Rae’s caused havoc in the Olympic box with a low free kick before Aleksander Lekoski had a shot blocked by a defender for a corner. It was a rare chance for the striker on a difficult afternoon for strikers on both sides.
The two best chances of the match fell to Peter Makrillos and Madonis within minutes of each other. Makrillos skipped clear of the Hakoah defence and drew Anthony Bouzanis out of his goal. However, he hit an indecisive shot just wide of the far post, seemingly unsure whether to shoot himself or pass to Yu Kuboki stretching in the six-yard box.
Madonis had his chance to open the scoring two minutes later when he received the ball on the right of a crowded penalty area. Madonis pushed past his defender to hit a low shot across Bouzanis, who got down sharply to turn the ball out for a corner kick. It was the last significant action of a frustrating match, with both coaches acknowledging that the standard of football on display had been well below par.
“I thought it was a terrible game,” said Hakoah player-manager Gavin Rae. “I thought they were probably better than us, we didn’t play well at all.
“I wasn’t happy with the performance, there were too many people who weren’t really at it today. Not a great game in the slightest, but we’ve got a point and we’ve got a clean sheet – that’s about it.”
Peter Zorbas was similarly dismissive of the match as a spectacle.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game of football,” he said.
“Both teams tried to have a go, but there wasn’t much football played there.
“We tried to focus on getting more bodies forward in the second half, we needed to create a few chances and I think we did that, but nothing you’d want to write home about.”
Hakoah Sydney City East FC 0
Sydney Olympic FC 0
Sunday 14 May 2017, at Hensley Athletic Field
Referee: C. Fisher
Assistant referees: J. Adabjou and D. Horstead
Fourth official: H. Jomaa
Hakoah Sydney City East FC: 1. BOUZANIS Anthony, 15. BEREVESKOS Dean, 10. DE JONG, Andre, 6. DRAPER Cameron, 3. EZEKIEL Robert (2. WOLANSKI Remy 56′), 14. FRANGIE Anthony, 16. GREEN Oliver, 7. LEKOSKI Aleksander (30. ELDRIDGE Connor 76′), 11. MUNDELL Jordan, 19. RAE Gavin, 17. SWEET Gideon
Subs not used: 45. FIGUEIRA Michael, 8. ORGAD Paul, 18. JONES Harry
Yellow Cards: Wolanski 79′, Bouzanis 84′
Red Cards: N/A
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. HENDERSON Paul, 11. AN Jinya, 7. ANGEL William, 24. GLIGOR Christopher, 12. KUBOKI Yu, 8. MADONIS Jason, 15. MALFARA Sebastian, 9. PAVICEVIC Radovan (10. MAKRILLOS Peter 10′), 5. SPYRAKIS Yianni, 6. STAMATELLIS Mitchell, 4. WHITESIDE Thomas
Subs not used: 19. BURGESS Darcy, 20. CONSONI Ezequiel, 25. RODIC Mark, 16. ANDRICOPOULOS Nikita
Yellow Cards: Spyrakis 58′, Whiteside 69′
Red Cards: N/A
3 – Jinya An (SOFC)
2 – Yu Kuboki (SOFC)
1 – Thomas Whiteside (SOFC)
#Photo by Dan Ullman