It was a hard-fought battle at Belmore Sports Ground on Friday night between Sydney Olympic and Sydney FC, with the young Sky Blues coming away with a shock 3-2 victory over last year’s Premiers and Champions.
Sydney FC were clinical in their execution, with Benjamin Koop, Luke Ivanovic and Joel King all scoring their goals through their fast-paced attack, while Olympic struggled to convert their chances, with Alex Sanchez’s double not enough to match the energetic young Sky Blues.
The first goal came after just ten minutes for the visitors, making the most of a counter attack opportunity.
Olympic skipper Jason Madonis was brought down at half way and while Olympic called for the free kick, Sydney FC kicked into gear on the counter.
Marco Tilio curled an impressive cross into Koop who sent his header powerfully into the back of the net to open scoring.
Sydney Olympic retaliated quickly, equalising just one minute later.
Tom Whiteside sent the ball to Niko Tsattalios who flicked the ball on to Sanchez in a dangerous position.
The Spaniard didn’t hesitate, striking the ball straight past Sydney FC custodian Thomas Howard-Belle to level the game.
Sydney FC took it to two in the 50th minute, with Luke Ivanovic making his way on to the scoreboard.
Ivanovic positioned himself well to receive an overhead ball and strike it into the back of the net.
The visitors found their third in the 55th minute as Hamish Lamberton passed off to King sitting on the 18-yard box, who hit a powerful ball out of reach of Henderson.
Olympic started clawing their way back into the game in the 70th minute, again through Sanchez who netted his ninth for the NPL NSW Men’s campaign.
The hosts dominated the last quarter of the game, creating an abundance of opportunities as they searched for the equaliser.
New recruit Peter Kekeris, signed from the Central Coast Mariners, came close in the 78th minute, curling an impressive shot on target to be saved by Howard-Belle.
They came painfully close in the 81st minute, when Jack Stewart’s shot hit the inside of the crossbar before bouncing on the line and coming back into play.
It was corner after corner for Sydney Olympic as they continued to look for a third right up to the final whistle in what was becoming an increasingly physical game, but the youngsters kept hold of their lead, finishing the game with a 3-2 victory.
Sydney FC coach Jim Van Weeren was impressed with the performance of his young players.
“They [Sydney Olympic] asked a look of good questions from us.
“Fair play to our young boys who came on and stood up and rode the last bit of the game out.
“The boys showed tonight that when they’re on and they can convert their chances then they can win games.”
Olympic coach Abbas Saad was disappointed with the result considered the number of opportunities his team created.
“They had three shots and three goals, we had 30 shots and two goals.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.
“We’ve had a great run in the last month.
“We didn’t play badly today…we’ve just got to convert the chances that we create.”
Sydney Olympic FC 2 (Alex Sanchez 11’, 70’)
Sydney FC 3 (Benjamin Koop 10’, Ivanovic 50’, King 55’)
Friday 17th May, 2019
Belmore Sports Ground
Referee: Craig Fisher
Assistant referees: J. Bell, J. Bitas
Fourth official: R. Mattei
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Paul Henderson, 2. Thomas Whiteside, 4. Mitchell Stamatellis, 6. Nikola Kuleski (44. Peter Kekeris), 7. Will Angel, 8. Jason Madonis (17. Jack Stewart), 9. Radovan Pavicevic (22. Michael Gaitatzis,), 11. Jinya An, 12. Zachary Mackenzie, 14. Alex Sanchez, 33. Niko Tsattalios
Substitutes Not Used: 19. Darcy Burgess, 20. Eze Consoni,
Yellow Cards: Jinya An, William Angel, Mitchell Stamatellis
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 1. Thomas Howard-Belle, 3. Benjamin Van Meurs, 5. Patrick Scibilio, 7. Jerry Skotadis, 8. Joel King (14. Thomas Fay), 9. Hamish Lamberton, 10. Marco Tilio, 11. Luke Ivanovic (12. Giuseppe Tilio), 15. Ryan Teague, 16. Paolo Bonanni, 18. Benjamin Koop
Substitutes Not Used: 20. David Malishev, 24. Jake Hollman
Yellow Cards: Hamish Lamberton, Thomas Howard-Belle
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Joel King (SFC)
2 – Alex Sanchez (SO)
1 – Ryan Teague (SFC)
Written by Madeline Riley