Crowds at Sydney Olympic’s Belmore Sports Ground were left devastated in the opening match of the NPL NSW as Wollongong Wolves defeated Sydney Olympic 2-1, with a late goal by Wolves scored in the 89th minute.
It was a heated game from beginning to end, with both sides being dealt yellow cards for aggressive tackles and confrontations. Sydney Olympic were dealt five fouls compared with Wolves seven, with Sydney Olympic’s two bookings coming from an argument between opposing players during the middle of the match.
Both teams had four attempts at goal with two shots on target, with Sydney Olympic failing to convert many of the opportunities in the beginning of the second half.
Wolves opened up the scoring in the first 10 minutes of the match with a high cross delivered into the box, finished by Lachlan Scott after Olympic goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis fumbled it from his hands.
Wollongong Wolves maintained a higher intensity than the Belmore side until the final 10 minutes of the first half, with Olympic then delivering stronger chances.
As the second half began, Olympic came out firing with Madonis scoring a goal in the 48th minute. The goal was brought together from a good play set up by Parkhouse on the left, who laid it off to Beneit Romero. Seeing Madonis open, Romero passes it to the midfielder who takes a touch outside the 18-yard box and drills if into the bottom of the net.
The next 15 minutes saw many opportunities by Olympic. Olympic delivered a great corner at the 57 minute mark which was failed to be cleared by Wolves defenders, with the shot by Olympic eventually being blocked. Olympic proceeded to take many shots from outside the 18-yard box, hitting wide on every attempt.
Many attempts made by Sydney Olympic were thwarted by professional fouls from the Wollongong side, recklessly tackling the opposition and, in one instance, shoving an Olympic player in the back, which was not seen by the referee.
After a professional foul made by the Wollongong side, Olympic were given a free kick opportunity in the top right corner of the pitch. Parkhouse had an effort at goal with his left foot, attempting to curve it in to the top right of net, yet was saved by Wolves keeper Justin Pasfield.
As the match came to a close, both teams had their energy raised. A corner delivered to the far post was failed to be cleared by Olympic defenders, with Wolves player Bul Juach finishing a close opportunity and wrapping up the game.
Sydney Olympic head coach Terry Palapanis spoke with the Greek Herald after the match regarding the teams performance.
“We conceded 2 soft goals. When you look at the game in it’s entirety, we started slowly and we tweaked it at half time but all in all I thought we had enough chances to win the game.
“There were two crosses, fumbled the first one and the second one was a corner. There was a blatant push in the back that the ref didn’t see.”
Sydney Olympic FC face APIA Leichardt Tigers in Leichardt at 7:30pm next Sunday, with the team looking to improve their performance.
“We’ll go back and do a video session and see where we went wrong and where we can improve… I saw them (APIA Leichardt) playing last night, it’s a winnable match but they’re a good team. We’ll go out guns blazing, regroup, refocus and I’m confident we can win next week and make up for that loss.”