Sydney Olympic ends winless streak with hard-fought victory over Sydney United

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Report by Tim Gibson

Sydney Olympic edged out Sydney United 58 1-0 on Sunday, June 9 at Sydney United Sports Centre in what was a crucial win for the team following a string of recent disappointing results.

The match was a tense battle between the sides, and there were plenty of chances for both.

However, Olympic’s ever reliable striker Roy O’Donovan scored the winning goal for Olympic late in the first half.

sydney olympic fc
Roy O’Donovan scored the winning goal. Photo: The Greek Herald

United 58 should have been ahead within three minutes. Alessandro Lacalandra intercepted Sam McIllhatton’s errant pass at the back and ran into the box uncontested. The youngster chose the unselfish option to square the ball to his left for Patrick Antelmi. But it rolled slightly behind Antelmi – whose touch was heavy regardless – bouncing into Olympic goalkeeper Noah James.

Chances fell for both teams in the 17th minute as Shunta Nakamura’s volley from the left of the box skimmed just wide of the left post for United 58. Moments later, Olympic’s Zac Zoricich took on a volley of his own from a similar area that also dropped narrowly past the left post.

Olympic strung a series of passes together 26 minutes in and were millimetres away from an opener. A patient move out from defence came to the right for William Mutch. The fullback rolled the ball inside past Nakamura and unleashed a rocket of a right-footed effort that ricocheted back off the left post.

The hosts responded to this close call four minutes later. A right-sided corner fell to Anthony Tomelic, and the defender fired a well-hit strike that James held onto.

Sydney Olympic made the most of their set piece in the 38th minute. Adam Parkhouse bent in an in-swinging corner from the right, which found O’Donovan, who was standing in front of United 58 goalkeeper Oliver Kalac. And from there, the experienced striker kept his balance and nodded over Kalac to score.

O’Donovan’s goal was the difference between the teams as they went into the sheds.

There had been opportunities either way in the first half, but Olympic had been the more clinical of the two.

Olympic started the second period brightly, with the best of a series of early efforts coming from McIllhatton. The midfielder lined up a powerful, dipping long-range shot from the left that provoked Kalac into a superb acrobatic stop to palm it behind for a corner.

Sydney United 58 started to gain more possession after their opponents’ quick opening 15 minutes of the second half.

In the 68th minute, Tariq Maia slipped Nakamura into the left channel of the box, where his poked effort squirmed under Kalac, but Zygmunt Gordon retreated to hack the ball away.

The visitors should have sealed the result seven minutes later. Abraham Majok raced in behind down the right, going through one-on-one with Kalac. The forward attempted to prod the ball past Kalac; the goalkeeper, however, made a sweeping save with his feet.

It did not matter in the end, as Olympic held on to their lead to leave Edensor Park with all three points for their seventh win of 2024.

Source: Football NSW

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