In short, it promised to be another classic at Marconi Stadium which was in absolutely scintillating condition.
In the end Sydney Olympic, thanks to a hat-trick of goals by Matthew Mayora in the first-half were too good for Marconi who gallantly played their way back into the match after a shocking start.
The crowd had hardly settled into their seats when, out of nothing, Mayora scored his first goal of the evening in the second minute of play.
Beautifully set up by arguably the best player on the field, Paul Wither, his somewhat innocuous shot ended up in the back of the net.
In the 7? minute it was the same combination that struck gold for Sydney Olympic: an Anthony Hartshorn cross found Wither who in turn set up Mayora who slotted the ball home for the visitors. It was 2-0 before anyone had realised what had happened.
At this the point the Marconi faithful were stunned because rarely at Marconi Stadium is the home side down by two goals in such a short space of time.
In the 13? minute it the Wither-Mayora combination struck again, but thankfully this time for the Stallions the latter was well off target with his shot.
Two minutes later Sydney Olympic were nearly at it again when Shannon Cole, another player to shine for the visitors, blasted his free kick from approximately 25 metres out onto the crossbar.
It was a confident kick from a confident player playing in a confident team. Olympic at this stage were directing all the traffic.
In the 16? minute Ben Gough appeared to get one back for Marconi Stallions but referee Kris Griffith-Jones, jogging on the spot, adjudicated that there was a hand ball involved.
Whether it was a voluntary hand ball or not is really a moot point for the man-in-the-middle was beautifully positioned to make the call.
In the 26? minute Mayora struck gold again when a Shannon Cole free-kick was pushed away by James Chronopoulos only to rebound nicely for the Olympic striker who once again found the back of the net.
Sydney Olympic coach Milan Blagojevic must have been pleased at this point. Who wouldn?t have been with a 3-0 lead?
Marconi got one back in the 35? minute when Tolgay Ozbey beautifully dispossessed Mirko Jurilj and then found Ante Deur unmarked and all he had to do was place the ball into the back of the net.
In the 61? minute Mayora was sent off for a reckless challenge on Nathan Moulds.
The straight red card was certainly hard to argue with and Olympic?s best player up until that point was forced to leave the field.
The second-half remained scoreless and, in truth, it was a mere shadow of the exciting first stanza of play. Marconi, despite the numerical advantage, failed to really capitalise. Sydney Olympic may have won the game, but Blagojevic can certainly thank a red hot Mayora for his opportunistic finishing in-front of goal.
Afterwards Marconi coach David Barrett, himself a former stalwart of Olympic, was very disappointed with his team.
?We?ve copped two goals in five minutes and three goals in a short space of time and that?s it,? he said.
?We were poor and naive in defence and there was a lack of desperation at the start.
?In saying that, though, we had a reasonable spell where we created two or three good chances ourselves.
?We scored one and got back into the game; Olympic had a man sent off, but they were solid, got in behind the ball and we didn?t come up with answers.
?Next week we face Manly which is a massive game because they are an in-form team.
?I rate Manly highly because they have a very good side, so it will be a very hard game away from home as well.?
Marconi Stallions 1 (Ante Deur 35?)
Sydney Olympic 3 (Matthew Mayora 2?, 7? and 26?)
Marconi Stallions: James Chronopoulos, Wade Oostendorp, Vuko Tomasevic (83? Jason Trifiro), Nathan Moulds, Luke Casserly, Ben Gough (62? Christian Gomez), Matthew Gordon, Tolgay Ozbey, Ante Deur, Nahuel Arrarte, Ben Bronneberg.
Coach: David Barrett
Sydney Olympic: Michael Herbert, Emmanuel Zunino, Mirko Jurilj, Michael Cindric, Paul Wither, Anthony Hartshorn (83? James Kovas), Anthony Doumanis (61? Roger Galayini), Chris Triantis (56? Milorad Simonovic), Shannon Cole, Matthew Mayora, Peter Zorbas. Coach: Milan Blagojevic
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones
Assistants: Wayne Lenardon, Nick Backo
Yellow Cards: Tomasevic, Arrarte, Ozbey, Gomez (Marconi), Zorbas, Doumanis, Wither, Hartshorn and Jurilj (Olympic)
Red Card: 61? Mayora (tackle on Moulds)
3 – Paul Wither (SO)
2. Matthew Mayora (SO)
1. Shannon Cole (SO)
-By Joe Russo