Sydney Olympic FC took the spoils in a pulsating 3-2 success against Sutherland Sharks FC on Saturday at Seymour Shaw Park.
A pair of second-half goals helped Olympic claw their way to victory and denied the Sharks in front of their home fans.
Sutherland got the perfect start with James Andrew’s eighth of the season to put them up 1-0 then Christopher McStay’s bomb made it 2-1. The Sharks wilted late and were denied back-to-back wins despite a fighting effort.
For the visitors, Sydney Olympic FC had to fight their way to three points today. Mohamed Adam’s brace on either side of half-time got them back to 2-2 then Brendan Cholakian provided a fantastic finish to give Ante Juric’s side a huge boost into the top five.
Both sides fresh from last start wins looked to be flying from kick-off. Sydney Olympic FC had more corners than a Rubik’s cube in the opening stages, with Oliver’s Puflet’s pair of headers the closest they came to a goal.
James Andrew has been a one-man goal machine for Sutherland Sharks this season and added his eighth of the season in the 9th minute. Andrew latched onto the ball and put it underneath the keeper, making it 1-0 to the Sharks.
The goal spurred the Sharks forward. Andrew had another chance inside the box which he put straight at Sydney Olympic FC ‘keeper Christopher Parsons then Oliver Green went close from a close-range free-kick as the game opened up.
Sydney Olympic FC kept finding chances with Pufflet again central to the action. Their equaliser came from the experienced Jason Madonis, who cut it back swiftly for Mohamed Adam to sweep home for 1-1.
Headed into the break after a frenetic first half, there was one final moment of action that brought the Seymour Shaw crowd to their feet. Sharks midfielder Christopher McStay connected well with the ball to arrow into the bottom corner right on the whistle to make it 2-1 Sharks.
Suddenly finding themselves behind coming out the sheds, Sydney Olympic issued an immediate response. The ball was played through for Adam again, he slotted home inside the box to make it 2-2 and complete his brace.
Both sides traded chances from the set-piece as they fought for the decisive goal tonight. Nic Petrillo nodded over for Sutherland, then Benjamin Van Meurs did the same for Sydney Olympic. Brendan Cholakian also headed wide after a superb pass from Daniel Diaz.
Sydney Olympic FC coach Ante Juric rung the changes to help find his side a winner.
Substitute Fabio Ferreira almost made an immediate impact after he thrashed an attempt which Sutherland Sharks custodian Anthony Bouzanis had to palm wide.
Ferreira continued to provide a fresh nuisance to the Sharks defence. He nodded wide from a free header and created space for Sydney Olympic to push wave after wave of pressure on the home side.
The ball was monopolised with Sydney Olympic FC. Headed into the final 10, they finally made that dominance pay dividends. Brendan Cholakian smashed home to make it 3-2 to complete the visitors’ comeback. It was the former Manly United playmaker’s first official goal for the Blues since moving from Cromer Park at the start of the 2021 season.
Sydney Olympic FC wasn’t content to sit on their one-goal lead and pushed forward to close off the contest in the dying stages. Cholakian went close again, but the visitors could see out the contest and move into the top five.
A delighted Sydney Olympic FC coach Ante Juric was happy with the effort from his side to bring themselves closer to the top five after recent results.
“It was a positive result. We dominated most passages of play, although we gave away two goals, so we aren’t making it easy on ourselves. Consistency is the word I am after with the side, but we need to pick up our effort.” said Juric.
For Sutherland Sharks FC coach Nick Dimovski, tonight was the one that got away from the Sharks, but the coach has found a heartbeat in this team.
“It’s the one that got away. We gifted Olympic the win despite dominating the contest. I thought we were great today, but silly errors cost us. It is time for the players to be accountable for those errors.” said Dimovski.
“Pre-game, I said the team had found their heartbeat against Marconi mid-week. Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war, and I am still proud of them for their effort tonight.”
Sutherland Sharks FC 2 (Andrew ‘9, McStay ‘45+1)
Sydney Olympic FC 3 (Adam ‘31, ‘47, Cholakian ‘82)
Saturday 1st May 2021
Seymour Shaw, Miranda
Referee: H. Jomaa
Assistant Referees: M. McOrist & M. Price
Fourth Official: L. Lavigne
Sutherland Sharks FC: 1. BOUZANIS Anthony, 3. CONTIGIANI Gabriel (12. SUTHERLAND ‘63), 5. PETRILLO Nic, 6. O’SHEA Patrick, 7. SIMONOSKI Peter (9. COX ‘79), 8. GREEN Oliver (25. MASCIOVECCHIO ‘79 (21. SAUER ‘87)), 10. EVERETT Lachlan (13. JONES ‘79), 17. ANDREW James, 22. SCIBILIO Patrick, 88. MCSTAY Christopher, 99. GROZDANOVSKI Jonathan
Substitutes not used: 16. ROEBUCK Gerard
Red cards: nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 2. WHITESIDE Thomas, 4. VAN MEURS Benjamin, 5. GLASSOCK Michael, 8. MADONIS Jason (24. GLIGOR ‘45), 9. PUFFLET Oliver (22. FERREIRA ‘72), 10. CHOLAKIAN Brendan, 17. PETERSON Marley (11. PARKHOUSE ‘55), 21. MONGE Fabian (6. KULESKI ‘45), 23. DIAS Daniel, 35. ADAM Mohamed, 70. PARSONS Christopher
Substitutes not used: 18. HASEGAWA Yu, 30. MACKAY Brody
Yellow cards: Dias
Red cards: nil
3: Mohamed Adam (SO)
2: Daniel Dias (SO)
1: Christopher McStay (SS)
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)