Sydney Olympic flexed its attacking muscle with three goals to secure a much-needed win against the Bulls Academy on Saturday afternoon at Sydney United Sports Centre.
With the Bulls desperate for a win in the fight for survival, they started the game in the best possible way, with the opening goal falling the way of Jed Drew.
However, the Bulls’ lead was short-lived as Roy O’Donovan quickly fired back from close range in the 35th minute.
After an intense first half, cooler heads began to prevail, and it was Olympic who seized the momentum – spurring them towards an eventual win.
Darcy Burgess put the visitors into the lead, shortly before Fabio Ferreira capitalised on a perfect ball from Adam Parkhouse to double the advantage.
Olympic wasted little time putting immense pressure on the Bulls’ defence with the first attack of the game coming in the opening seconds of play, which saw Alex Robinson defuse Roy O’Donovan’s effort.
Continuing with the fast start in the early stages Olympic showed great poise in attack and could’ve been rewarded with the opener if not for a courageous lunge from Oliver Jones to deny Adam Parkhouse.
After being on the back foot for the opening ten minutes, the hosts began to even out the flow of the game and found success through a barrage of long balls targeted at Jed Drew.
Drew’s closest chance came in the 14th minute when he found his way into the box and looked to curl his shot into the bottom corner but forced a great save out of Nicholas Sorras – as Ariath Piol was unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Sorras’ save was the last role he would play in the game as he was taken off with a suspected arm injury just minutes later.
The game kicked into gear just after the half-hour mark with both sides getting on the scoreboard within minutes of each other.
Bulls struck first after a long ball from Ali Auglah found Drew, who composed himself and neatly buried his shot in the bottom corner.
Olympic only had to wait two minutes before striking back after a great bit of play from Michael Vakis set up O’Donovan with an easy finish from the six-yard box.
Both sides staked their claim to head into the halftime break in the lead with Drew smacking the post from side-on, whilst Peter Politis had his flick effort cleared away from the back stick.
After a heated end to the first half, either team cooled down the intensity as the second half played out.
Olympic took the lead just ten minutes after the restart with the first genuine attacking chance of the half.
With Burgess finding space out wide, he cut in and with his effort heading towards the bottom corner, it took a notable deflection and curled in off the post.
The Bulls began to come alive in attack during the final 20 minutes, but their hard work came undone as substitute Fabio Ferreira neatly finished a perfectly placed cross from Parkhouse for Olympic’s third.
It was an especially frustrating goal to concede for the Bulls who could’ve levelled the score a few times in the minutes leading up to it and had a strong call for a penalty waived away.
The Bulls found the back of the net just moments after, but the goal was just as quickly ruled out with the linesman citing a foul on Christopher Parsons in the lead up.
Despite a few chances in the final moments, the scoreline was too big for the Bulls to overcome leaving Olympic with a respectable 3-1 win.
With a season of frustrating results continuing to pile up, Bulls coach Zeljko Kalac remained positive about his side’s performance.
“It was a very good performance for us against a very good side, I thought we were right in the match, it’s fair to say there was some contentious referring that changed the course of the match,” he said.
“Forget all of that, our performance was very good it was of a team not deserving to be in the position that we are in on the table.”
Olympic coach Labinot Haliti was pleased that his side’s showings in recent weeks have continued to improve as they make a late-season surge.
“We showed in today’s performance that we can hurt teams, it’s just little moments but I’m proud of the boys, every week they turn up,” he said.
“We have some tough weeks, I’m not denying that but days like this you can see there is good things happening which is good.
“You’ve got to give them credit to, they are a very good team, they’ve got some very good players, I don’t look at them on the table because I know they can play.”
Bulls FC Academy 1 (Drew 33’)
Sydney Olympic FC 3 (O’Donovan 35’, Burgess 56’, Ferreira 72’)
Saturday 15th July 2023
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees: Brad Wright and Maddy Allum
Fourth Official: Rowan Fisher
Bulls FC Academy: 30. Alexander Robinson, 2. Luca Pecora, 7. Ali Auglah (11. Stephan De Robillard 45’), 16. Oliver Jones (18. Federico Gagliano 45’) 20. Ariath Piol (6. Frans Deli 72’), 21. Lachlan Macdonald, 22. Edward Caspers), 27. Jed Drew (8. Mason Wells 45’), 29. Michael Marcevski, 52. Rhys Youlley (12. Marco Arambasic 72’), 53. Joel Bertolissio
Unused subs: 41. Patrick Williams
Yellow cards: Caspers 37’, Kalac 70’
Red cards: nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Nicholas Sorras (20. Christopher Parsons 19’), 2. Peter Politis, 3. Michael Neill, 5. Ziggy Gordan, 8. Sam McIllhatton, 10. Darcy Burgess (9. Oliver Puflett 67’), 11. Adam Parkhouse (29. John Fitzgerald 76’), 14. Michael Vakis (22. Fabio Ferreira 67’), 15. Willian Mutch, 23. Jakob Cresnar, 99. Roy O’Donovan
Substitutes Not Used: 7. William Angel, 12. Ruben Sanchez Marcano,
Yellow Cards: nil
Red Cards: nil
3: Adam Parkhouse – SO
2: Darcy Burgess – SO
1: Rhys Youlley – BA
By NPL NSW Men’s Reporter Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti