An incredible Sydney Olympic fightback has stunned Blacktown City as the reigning premiers snatched a dramatic 3-3 draw in their National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Belmore Oval on Sunday.
The home side recovered from a two-goal deficit in the early stages of the game to earn a point in the action-packed clash.
Blacktown would’ve thought they were on their way to a big victory after only 15 minutes as they took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Grant Lynch and Leroy Jennings.
However, Olympic found their groove late in the opening stanza and fought their way back into the contest as Nikola Kuleski and Alex Sanchez both scored to level proceedings.
A Joey Gibbs goal early in the second half had the visitors in the drivers seat, but it wasn’t to be with Olympic snatching a point thanks to a Jason Madonis goal 19 minutes from full time.
It was a thrilling encounter but is sure to leave both sides with plenty of questions heading into Round 4.
Olympic came out firing with Madonis creating his first chance after four minutes, letting off a shot but earning a corner for his efforts.
Jinya An took the corner, sending the ball straight to Jack Stewart who connected, but headed it wide.
Hagi Gligor hit a powerful volley towards goal, however it had a bit too much power soaring above the crossbar.
Fans didn’t have to wait long for a goal, with the opener coming just 10 minutes into the match for the visitors.
Grant Lynch connected with the corner kick, sending a header straight into the netting.
The second goal followed just minutes later for Blacktown, earning them a two-goal lead in just the 13th minute.
Olympic custodian Paul Henderson dove to save a shot from Blacktown but fumbled while collecting the ball.
Leroy Jennings capitalised on Henderson’s error tapping the ball in to finish.
Olympic weren’t accepting defeat, securing their spot on the scoreboard in the 38th minute.
Kuleski curved a brilliant free kick from outside the 18-yard box straight into the back of the net to score the first for the home side.
Alex Sanchez came out firing in the second half, scoring from the first play of the half.
Stewart slid a ball through the Blacktown ranks to the Spaniard who hammered one straight past Blacktown goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast to equalise.
Joey Gibbs retaliated in the 52th minute with the third for the visitors.
Gibbs hit a powerful shot from range, sending the ball over the top of Henderson into the netting.
Yet another equaliser was scored in the 71st minute, this time from Olympic skipper Jason Madonis.
Will Angel threaded a ball through to Harris Gaitatzis, who timed his ball perfectly, tapping to Madonis who smashed the ball into the net to score the sixth and final goal from the match.
Blacktown coach Mark Crittenden said he thought it was a fair result in a “great game.”
“I think both teams walk away happy,” he explained.
“It would have been a great game to watch, it was end-to-end football.”
Olympic coach Abbas Saad said he was proud of the belief his team showed to come back from a two-goal deficit.
“The boys showed great character, that’s what I was very proud of,” he said.
“We kept playing our football and we believed that we could get back into the game.”
Sydney Olympic 3 (Nikola Kuleski 38’, Alex Sanchez 45’, Jason Madonis 71’)
Sutherland Sharks 3 (Grant Lynch 10’, Leroy Jennings 13’, Joey Gibbs 52’)
Sunday 24th March, 2019
Referee: S. Lucas
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Paul Henderson, 2. Thomas Whiteside, 6. Nicola Kuleski (19. Darcy Burgess), 7. Will Angel, 8. Jason Madonis, 9. Radovan Pavicevic, (10. Harris Gaitatzis) 11. Jinya An, 12. Zach Mackenzie, 14. Alex Sanchez, 17. Jack Stewart, 24. Hagi Gligor
Substitutes Not Used:, 20. Eze Consoni, 23. Troy Danaskos, 25. Dimi Petratos
Yellow Cards: Alex Sanchez, 71’
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast, 4. Yianni Spyrakis, 5. Grant Lynch, 6. Matthew Lewis, 7. Devante Clut (3. Daniel Collins 80’), 8. Daniel Araujo (23. Daniel Bragg), 9. Joey Gibbs, 10. James Demetriou (11. Emmanuel Gonzalez), 19. Adam Berry, 21. William Mutch, 22. Leroy Jennings
Substitutes Not Used: 15. Mason Versi, 20. Dylan Niski,
Yellow Cards: Matthew Lewis 6’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Jason Madonis (SO)
2 – Nikola Kuleski (SO)
1 – Joey Gibbs (BC)
Written by National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)