An Alejandro Sanchez brace has helped Sydney Olympic put an end to Marconi’s four game unbeaten run with a 3-1 victory at Marconi Stadium on Saturday.
Sanchez was in inspired form for the reigning champions to help Olympic to consecutive wins for only the second time this season.
It appeared as if Marconi were on their way to another high scoring performance when Anthony Frangie gave the home side the lead inside two minutes.
However, Sanchez struck back immediately for Olympic before finding the back of the net again midway through the second half to give his side the lead.
Nikola Kuleski wrapped up the result in the dying stages with a sublime free-kick to condemn Marconi to their first defeat in over a month.
The game got underway to a blistering start when Marconi Stallions took the lead in the 2ndminute.
A delightful ball from Mirijan Pavlovic was played across the face of goal for Frangie who, from close range, made no mistake.
Sydney Olympic replied instantly when from the kick-off a quick ball was played to the dynamic Sanchez who sprinted away and fired straight into the goal past an outstretched Nenad Vekic.
Two goals in the opening three minutes certainly had whet the appetites of the healthy crowd in the grandstand.
Sanchez then responded with two more chances in the 17th minute.
Firstly he blasted the ball from outside the box but it ended up just wide of the target, and then seconds later he displayed his twinkle toes on a dazzling run that nearly had everyone mesmerised bar for a final shot that was blocked rather fortuitously.
In the 21st minute a powerful drive from Will Angel had Marconi custodian Vekic pushing the ball out with his chest.
The Stallions had a chance of their own as the action went up the other end of the field, Brandon Vella fired just wide with a diagonal shot that could have been so much more.
In the 39th minute some excellent defending from Zachary Mackenzie prevented Pavlovic from hitting the target when he beautifully got back to deviate the ball for a corner.
It was to be the last real chance of the eventful first stanza of play.
The second half was also tight but the scoreboard belonged to Sydney Olympic.
Harris Gaitatzis tried his luck from distance and wasn’t too far off with his attempt in the 50th minute which sailed menacingly over the crossbar.
Marconi came close shortly afterwards when a header from Vella found Marko Jesic in a good position but he flicked the ball just over the goal.
Sydney Olympic doubled their lead in the 63rd minute thanks to a stupendous volley from Sanchez who buried the ball into the back of the net.
Vekic was called on to make back to back saves in the 75th minute as he got down to stop Gaitatzis before recovering to deny another dangerous Olympic shot on goal.
However, Olympic were not to be stopped in the 83rd minute when substitute Nikola Kuleski did his best to impersonate Lionel Messi from a free-kick.
It was almost as good as the Barcelona maestro’s goal against Liverpool during the week as the Marconi wall stood no chance such was the accuracy and power of the majestic curling effort.
After the game Sydney Olympic coach Abbas Saad was delighted with the consecutive wins.
“It was a magnificent effort,” he said.
“They are a tough team to beat but you have to bring the right attitude because they are very well coached. You have to run with them, you have to battle with them but we know our football and we have the ammunition to beat any team.”
When asked about Alejandro Sanchez he stated: “Yes, he is special but he is a striker and he is there to score goals.
“You have to credit all the boys because without the other ten players, he is not going to score. They worked hard for him today and they made chances for him today, but I thought defensively we were superb.”
“Marconi coach Peter Tsekenis was frustrated with the performance of his side as they dropped below the top form of recent weeks.
“We weren’t tonight at where we usually set the bar for ourselves,” he said.
“We were below par but we were still in that game. At 1-1 we made an error at the back which let them into the game. The difference was the clinical finishing of one player [Sanchez].
“It doesn’t help to concede like we did after scoring our goal which was a well-taken goal.
“They were very predictable on the other hand; we knew what they were going to do and credit to Sanchez for doing what he did. In the end they got the result and you can’t argue.”
MARCONI STALLIONS: 1 (Frangie 2’)
SYDNEY OLYMPIC: 3 (Sanchez 3’, 63’, Kuleski 83’)
Saturday, 4th May 2019
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Hassan Jomaa
Assistant Referees: Joon Park, Patrick Teleki
Fourth Official: Ivica Covic
MARCONI STALLIONS: 1.Nenad Vekic, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 4.Roberto Speranza, 7.Sean O’Connell (16.Liam Youlley 68’), 9.Anthony Frangie (28. Martin Fernandez 68’), 10.Marko Jesic, 11.Mitchell Mallia, 13.Yianni Nicolaou, 19.Zach Cairncross, 21.Mirjan Pavlovic, 23.Brandon Vella (20.Richard Cardozo 84’).
Substitutes not used: 2.Nathan Millgate, 17.Kristian Sekutkoski.
Yellow Cards: Vella 14’, R.Speranza 76’, Cairncross 82’
Red Cards: Nil
SYDNEY OLYMPIC: 1.Paul Henderson, 2.Thomas Whiteside, 4.Mitchell Stamatellis, 7.William Angel (6.Nicola Kuleski 71’), 8.Jason Madonis, 9.Radovan Pavicevic (23.Troy Danaskos 88’), 10.Harris Gaitatzis (25.Dimi Petratos 91’), 11.Jinya An, 12.Zachary Mackenzie, 14.Alejandro Sanchez, 17.Jack Stewart.
Substitutes not used: 19.Darcy Burgess, 20.Ezequiel Consoni.
Yellow Cards: Madonis 80’
Red Card: Nil
3 – Alejandro Sanchez (SO)
2 – Zachary Mackenzie (SO)
1 – Harris Gaitatzis (SO)
By National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Joe Russo