A spurned chance from four yards out and a missed penalty has cost Sydney Olympic FC after they were forced to share the spoils in a 0-0 draw with Rockdale City Suns during their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday.
Radovan Pavicevic’s missed penalty in the 30th minute and Niko Tsattalios miss in front of an empty net left Olympic fans ruing what should’ve been three competition points against their fourth placed rivals.
Olympic controlled proceedings for much of the encounter before a frantic final 15 minutes where both sides traded chances as the match went end to end.
Rockdale will count their lucky stars that they return home with a valuable point in hand as the battle for finals spots heats up over the final six weeks of the competition
Sydney Olympic had a glut of possession in the opening moments of the match and looked immediately to push their opponents onto the back foot.
Rockdale were under pressure but held strong as Olympic controlled the ball and field position.
In the 10th minute the home side’s efforts were rewarded when they were given a penalty after an Olympic shot struck the hand of a Rockdale defender in the box.
However, it didn’t go to plan as Olympic striker Pavicevic side footed his shot onto the upright and it deflected away much to the relief of the visitors.
The missed penalty scared Rockdale into action and they found added impetus in attack.
Toufic Alameddine was dangerous for Rockdale and regularly beat his defender out wide. However, the winger could not find the final ball required to create any clear-cut chances for the visitors.
Olympic went inches away from taking the lead in the 32nd minute when a looping ball in from Mitchell Stamatellis was headed just over the cross bar by Jinya An.
Despite plenty of attacking pressure from both sides, neither Olympic or Rockdale could find a breakthrough before halftime.
The second stanza started in a similar fashion to the first.
Olympic controlled proceedings once again from the restart and were unlucky not to have taken more away from a brilliant piece of play from An. The winger beat his man and connected with Jason Madonis with a slick back heel whose cross was intercepted.
Blake Ricciuto went inches away of stealing the lead for Rockdale when his header sailed narrowly over the cross bar
An had another great chance for Olympic in the 75th minute when he lined up for a free kick on the edge of the penalty box. The winger’s shot curled over the wall but sailed narrowly wide of the goal.
The match was going from end to end and it was Rockdale who had the next chance when Alameddine forced a diving save from Olympic shot stopper Henderson after a slaloming run.
Olympic striker Nik Tstattalios spurned a gilt-edged chance in the 78th minute when he was unable to tap in a Will Angel cross into an empty net.
The desperation in attack was obvious among both sides as they scrambled to snatch more than a point from the match.
Henderson made another clutch save in the 89th minute before Covic at the end came to the rescue for Rockdale at the other end in a frantic close to the match with both teams forced to share the spoils.
Sydney Olympic’s Jason Madonis rued the result as two points lost.
“We had some great chances to score today but weren’t able to hit the back of the net. We had to settle for a draw from a match we easily could have won,” he said.
“Defensively we were very strong today and it is always great to come away from a match with a clean sheet.
“We go into each game full of confidence that we can win and if we maintain that attitude and play to the level we are capable of than we will be able to make a strong finish to the season.”
Rockdale’s Paul Reid praised his players for clinching a draw in what was a hard fought contest.
“The boys can definitely hold their heads up high after that performance. We had a bit of luck go our way with Olympic missing a few clear-cut chances but overall it thought we did well to hang on,” he said.
“We had a few chances of our own but to come away with a point from this match is good result.
“We are playing below our best at the moment and we really need to return to where we were at earlier in the year. We still have a game in hand and only 3 points behind third place so we are still very much in the mix.”
Sydney Olympic FC: 0
Rockdale City Suns: 0
Sunday, June 25 2017
Belmore Sports Ground, Belmore
Referee C. Fisher
Assistant Referees: K Robinson & J Park
Fourth Official C Hughes
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Paul Henderson 4. Tom Whiteside, 6. Mitchell Stamatelis, 7. Will Angel, 8. Jason Madonis, 9. Radovan Pavicevic (33. Nikolas Tsattalios 59’), 11. Jinya An, 14. Mohammad Rahimi (19. Darcy Burgess 85’). 16 George Timotheou, 24. Chris Gligor, 23. Tass Mourdoukoutas.
Substitutes not used:, 20. Ezequiel Consoni, 21. Stephen Athanaseris,, 99. Paul Katsetis
Yellow Cards: Madonis, Whiteside, Timotheou
Rockdale City Suns FC: 22. Ante Covic, 4. Trent McClenahan, 5. Paul Reid, 6. Blake Riccuito, 7 Alec Urosevski (11. Jonathan Grozdanovski 81’), 10. Harris Gaitatzis (9. Patrick Savor 86’), 14. Brayden Sorge, 16. Isaac Savor, 17. Toufic Alameddine, 18. Daniel Saric, 23. Jordan Figon
Substitutes not used: 1. David Bradasevic, 3. Steve Hesketh, 44. Bradie Smith