The 310 fans who braved the cold watched a physical football match in which a solitary goal by Sydney Olympic centre-back Michael Cindric earned his side a hard-fought 1-0 win over archrivals Sydney United.
Despite the lack of goal-scoring opportunities for either side, the hard-working Olympic outfit was rewarded for their attacking intent.
The victory sees Milan Blagojevic?s side consolidate their place in the Top-Five and move to within 3-points of Sydney United – with a game in hand.
After 18? minutes, with neither side having a significant shot on goal, Sydney Olympic took the lead.
Paul Wither won a free-kick 3-metres outside of the United box and Chris Triantis saw his free-kick swerve over the wall and toward the far bottom corner of the net. The ball hit the post and in the ensuing confusion between defenders and goalkeeper, bobbled up for Cindric to tap-in from a metre out.
Within 4? minutes of conceding, Luka Glavas tried to inspire the home side. Picking up the ball on left-hand touchline, the lanky striker glided in-field, cutting across the entire Sydney Olympic defence effortlessly before letting off a tame effort which trickled through to goalkeeper Michael Herbert from outside the box.
At half-time Sydney United coach Ivan Petkovic replaced Elsid Barkhousir with Chris De Soares in an attempt to change the pattern of the game.
Despite all of their hard-work and effort, Sydney United were unable to break down an organised Olympic defence and in the 84th minute, Olympic?s ex-Jordanian International Siraj Al-Tall almost doubled their lead, beating two United defenders before scooping the ball over from the edge of the 6-yard box.
Moments later and Ivo Bosnar received his second yellow card for a late challenge on Sydney Olympic midfielder Chris Triantis, who produced a dominant display in the heart of the Olympic midfield.
In the 86th minute, a superb passing move by Sydney United, ended with an over-hit and misdirected attempt at a through ball.
The move provided a glimpse of the football United is capable of playing.
Technically sound footballers in Vidaic, Robertson and Glavas were simply unable to find passing rhythm thanks to the relentless pressure of the entire Olympic side.
The last chance of the match provided Paul Wither the opportunity to cap his tireless performance with a goal but his weak shot hit the legs of ?keeper Janjetovic with only the ?keeper to beat.
Sydney Olympic coach Milan Blagojevic highlighted his side?s team effort and midfield display as the driving force behind the victory:
?The main positive was that it was a real team effort today. All the boys fought hard. I was particularly pleased with the two youngsters, Triantis and Simonovic, leading the midfield today.?
On Siraj Al-Tall:
?He?s a confident lad, with a good football brain. We obviously had a bit of trouble getting him clearance to play but now that that?s sorted out, he?s going to have a big part to play in our season.?
Sydney Olympic captain Mirko Jurijl echoed his coach?s sentiments:
?I think everyone today was outstanding. We?ve come here to do a job. At 1-0 we could have pinched another one or two at the end, but 1-0 is good enough.
?In the second-half they stepped up a level but once again the shape was great and we played for each other.?
Sydney United boss Ivan Petkovic, who also started former Sydney FC midfielder Mark Robertson in his line-up, was less impressed with his side?s result:
?I think the game was really scrappy and it wasn?t a time to play soccer today. In the first-half Olympic was the better team and in the second-half we improved.
?They didn?t create any good chances but we didn?t create any good chances.
?My players fought, tried to play, never gave up, that?s one positive thing. We have to try and improve next week, maybe play a little bit more with the ball on the deck. Obviously Olympic didn?t give us enough time on the ball, they closed us down very well and we didn?t have any chance to play good soccer.?
Sydney United 0
Sydney Olympic 1 (Michael Cindric 18?)
Venue: Sydney United Sports Centre
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Gareth Askham, Greg McLoughlin
Fourth Official: Adam Weir
Sydney United: 1. Vedran Janjetovic; 3. Joe Moric, 6. Joe Vrkic, 5. Damon Collina, 21. Sash Trajcevski, 23, Ivo Bosnar, 4. Milan Bosnar (18. Andrija Petkovic 70?), 10. Mark Robertson (7. Todd Brodie 61?), 16. Elsid Barkhousir (9. Chris De Soares 46?), 11. Luka Glavas, 13. Ben Vidaic
Substitutes Not Used: 31. Anthony Golec, 20. Steve Minovski
Yellow Cards: Milan Bosnar, Damon Collina (58?), Ivo Bosnar (65?, 84?)
Red Cards: Ivo Bosnar (84?)
Sydney Olympic: 1. Michael Herbert; 16. Nathan Sherlock, 4. Mirko Jurilj, 5. Michael Cindric, 3. Emmanuel Zunino, 7. Milorad Simonovic, 18. Chris Triantis, 9. Anthony Hartshorn, 10. Anthony Doumanis (37. Siraj Al-Tall 64?), 17. Ian Ramsay (15. Matthew Mayora 66?), 8. Paul Wither
Substitutes Not Used: 11. Carlo Musumeci, 12. James Kovas, 21. N. Tsioustas
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 ? Milorad Simonovic (SO)
2 ? Paul Wither (SO)
1 ? Chris Triantis (SO)
-By Chris Paraskevas