Following a disappointing 2008 League campaign, the team from Jensen Park forced the issue at Seymour Shaw in-front of a very healthy crowd on Sunday afternoon.
Bankstown City has struggled to find consistency, in-terms of results, this campaign despite playing some fluent one-two touch football throughout. Peter Tsekenis had a full squad to choose from, with playmaker Robbie Mileski and goalkeeper Zlatko Joseski returning from suspension.
Tsekenis? counterpart Milan Blagojevic had to make-do without Emmanuel Zunino, Matthew Mayora and Michael Herbert; absentees that were certainly missed at Seymour Shaw.
Kick-off was delayed 15? minutes to allow for the long-queue of spectators awaiting entrance to the ground, though as referee Matthew Breeze signaled the start of the match, the much anticipated tension amongst both sets of players was felt.
Paul Wither received an early ?talking to? by the referee after a late challenge on Brett Studman, as Sydney Olympic held a greater share of possession in the opening exchanges.
A timid James Monie header from a Philip Makrys free-kick did little to threaten Sam Emmanouil?s goal, though the encounter came to life on 7? minutes as a horrible Brett Studman tackle on Anthony Doumanis saw an ensuing melee involving all players on the field.
Once calm had been restored, referee Matthew Breeze issued a straight red card to Studman for his part in the incident, meanwhile Sydney Olympic?s Roger Galayini too was left seeing red for his retaliation to the foul on his team-mate.
With both sides down to 10-men and 80? minutes of football still to follow, a somewhat cautious approach followed by both sides.
Bankstown City quickly turned defence into attack on 17? minutes as a scrambling clearance by Richard Luksic sent Robbie Mileski clear towards goal.
The Lions? playmaker ran at his marker before playing a through-ball into the penalty-area; the effort was over hit.
Moments later and the Lions found the opening goal. In an almost identical counter-attack, initiated this time by goalkeeper Zlatko Joseski, Mileski was free with space on the right-flank. The skillful number 10 ran at the by-line before cutting back a delicate effort into the path of an unmarked George Nohra ? the Lions? midfielder had no trouble slotting past a helpless Sam Emmanouil.
Sydney Olympic responded via the creative Chris Triantis on the right-flank. A mazy run by the creative midfielder had the Sydney Olympic supporters in full voice as he beat three Lions defenders as he cut in from the right. The winger?s cross was deflected into the path of Tsekenis, though appeals of a hand-ball were waived away by the referee despite the protests of the Blues? players.
Bankstown City played another counter-attack on the right-flank through Stefanos Liavas who got in behind the Blues defence. The speedster played a cross into the area, though the intended target James Monie had the ball cleared by Nathan Sherlock at the final moment.
Sydney Olympic?s best chance of the half arrived via the head of Anthony Hartshorn. A wicked cross by Shannon Cole from the left met the head of Hartshorn though his great effort was exceptionally well saved with a diving Zlatko Joseski effort.
Another Bankstown City counter-attack, this time on the left, provided Shane Webb with a mile of space ahead of him. Webb hit a venomous drive from the edge of the penalty-area though failed to force a save from Emmanouil.
The half was brought to a close with a long-range Philip Makrys free-kick from thirty-metres. The midfielder?s effort was on-target though well claimed by Emmanouil.
Milan Blagojevic made the only substitution at the break with the introduction of Marino Musumeci for Anthony Doumanis; Doumanis still feeling the effects of an injury-laden season.
Sydney Olympic made the early running in the second-half as Paul Wither was presented with an enormous chance on 53? minutes.
A poor Bankstown City clearance saw the ball fall into the path of Wither with only Joseski to beat ? Wither?s ferocious drive was parried at point-blank range by Joseski, preserving his side?s one-goal lead.
The resulting corner provided Sydney Olympic the equaliser as another poor clearance from the Lions defence allowed the Blues a second chance to cross the ball into the penalty-area.
A low effort behind the Lions? defence picked out Marino Musumeci at the back post, the Blues substitute converted with ease to draw his side level.
The long-range specialist Milorad Simonovic picked up a loose ball outside the penalty-area and after a first touch that moved the ball away from him, he hit a thunderbolt effort that finished over the crossbar.
On 70? minutes, Richard Luksic had the match-winning goal at his mercy. Shane Webb sent in a perfectly floated effort from the left onto the head of Luksic who remained in attack following a Lions corner. The Bankstown City defender, with no marker in-front of him, attempted to head the ball back across goalkeeper Sam Emmanouil, though the ball finished wide of the intended target.
As Sydney Olympic gained momentum with a good share of possession, Lions? player/coach Peter Tsekenis showed his experience denying a promising Carlo Musumeci attack. Tsekenis kept his feet as the Blues? midfielder had only one-man to beat inside the penalty-area.
Sydney Olympic?s afternoon took a turn for the worse on 76? minutes as the referee issued the Blues their second red card for the afternoon. A straight red card to Hartshorn for a two-footed challenge on Tayfun Devrimol left the Blues with 9-men, in a very unnecessary challenge by the former A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers midfielder.
The numerical advantage provided the Lions? with an additional ?step in their stride? as man-of-the-match Philip Makrys took control in the middle.
A delightful through ball into the path of Monie provided the Lions striker with space on the right. Monie?s low driven effort across the face of goal missed the lunging effort of Liavas inside the penalty-area, before Shane Webb?s effort from the edge of the area was scrambled away to safety by the some desperate Blues? defending.
Sydney Olympic responded with a tremendous interchange of passes between substitute James Kovas and the Musumeci brothers. Carlo played a tantalising through ball to Marino, though the Lions defence was quick to close down the angle.
With the match headed into extra-time, the Lions? introduction of Chris Godoy Bascur produced an immediate result. The speedy striker got in behind the Sydney Olympic defence on the right with his first touch of the ball. Godoy Bascur?s composure and strength on the ball provided the Lions? substitute with room to pick out an unmarked Tayfun Devrimol at the back post; the Lions midfielder tapped home to seal the win in a carbon copy of the first goal.
With Sydney Olympic heads down, Bankstown City added insult to the Blues? brave efforts as Robbie Mileski beat the offside trap to take the ball to the by-line on the right. A great show of skill by the new Sydney FC Under-20 recruit saw the Lions? number 10 pass across goal and into the path of Godoy Bascur to tap home for the third goal ? again in almost identical style.
The 3-1 final result made good of a disappointing season that saw the Lions miss out on TeleChoice Premier League Finals football, meanwhile Sydney Olympic remain in the running with the finals series kicking off next weekend.
Sydney Olympic 1 (Marino Musumeci 54?)
Bankstown City 3 (George Nohra 19?, Tayfun Devrimol 87?, Chris Godoy Bascur 90? + 2?)
Venue: Seymour Shaw
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Assistant Referees: Murray Wilson and Allyson Flynn
Fourth Official: James Lewis
Crowd: 1,800 Approx.
Sydney Olympic: 20. Sam Emmanouil; 14. Shannon Cole (11. Carlo Musumeci 70?), 4. Mirko Jurilj, 73. Matthew Jurman, 16. Nathan Sherlock, 7. Milorad Simonovic, 6. Roger Galayini, 18. Chris Triantis, 10. Anthony Doumanis (19. Marino Musumeci 46?), 9. Anthony Hartshorn, 8. Paul Wither (12. James Kovas 83?)
Substitutes Not Used: 37. Siraj Al-Tall, 21. N. Tsiostas
Coach: Milan Blagojevic
Yellow Cards: Paul Wither 14?, Michael Jurman 55?,
Red Cards: Roger Galayini 9?
Bansktown City Lions: 1. Zlatko Joseski; 8. George Nohra (2. Ibrahim Haydar 80?), 3. Shane Webb, 4. Brett Studman, 5. Richard Luksic, 6. Peter Tsekenis, 10. Robert Mileski, 16. Tayfun Devrimol, 11. Philip Makrys (12. Stefce Soleski 90? +3?), 9. James Monie (99. Chris Godoy-Bascurt 87?) 7. Stefanos Liavas
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Andrew Bazi, 21. Hussein Akil
Coach: Peter Tsekenis
Yellow Cards: George Nohra 65?, Stefanos Liavas 88?
Red Cards: Brett Studman 9?
Shots on Target
Bankstown City Lions5
Sydney Olympic 3
Shots off Target
Bankstown City Lions 6
Sydney Olympic 6
Bankstown City Lions 1
Sydney Olympic 3
Bankstown City Lions 23
Sydney Olympic 25
Bankstown City Lions 2
Sydney Olympic 1
Bankstown City Lions 2
Sydney Olympic 2
Bankstown City Lions 1
Sydney Olympic 2
Zlatko Joseski (Bankstown City Lions): ?It is a fantastic result for this team. We haven?t had a great run in the League so we are happy to finish the season with a win in the Cup.
?This competition hasn?t been a lucky one for us previously as we have lost in the first round. So, to win the competition is a fantastic result. We?ll hope to make it more of a regular thing where we challenge for this trophy.?
Mirko Jurlj (Sydney Olympic): ?A good effort by our team, though we didn?t get the win. Congratulations to Bankstown, they played a good match today.
?We have had a very good run in this competition, and we?ll now concentrate on the League finals series starting next weekend.?
Bankstown City Lions
1. Zlatko JOSEVSKI ? Beaten just the once after a good move and never afraid to get in where it hurts. Not really called into action too often but when he was, did well. 6/10
3. Shane WEBB ? Involved heavily during the first-half but quieter in the second period. Not caught out too often, decent game. 7/10
4. Brett STUDMAN ? Red card after 7-minutes, put his side a man down after a nasty studs up tackle. Didn?t impress. 1/10
5. Richard LUKSIC ? In and out of the match, did well but needed to work a little harder at times. 6/10
6. Peter TSEKENIS ? Player/coach who marshaled the troops well from the back. Rolled back the years at times. 7/10
7. Steve LIAVAS ? Was in contention for Man-of-the-Match honours but fell away toward the end. 7/10
8. George NOHRA ? Excellent 80?-minute performance topped with the opening goal. 7/10
9. James MONIE ? Good game, always involved and needed the rest went subbed after 86-minutes. 8/10.
10. Robert MILESKI ? Put over the cross for substitute Godoy Bascur to slot home amongst much good work in the final. Excellent game. 8/10
11. Philip MAKRYS ? Man-of-the-Match for his effort, style, commitment and general football prowess on the day. It may have been the final but it didn?t phase him at all. Well deserved Man Of The Match award. 9/10
16. Tayfun DEVRIMOL ? Set up one goal and never stopped running from start to finish. Terrific work rate. 8/10.
2. Ibrahim HAYDAR ? Came on with 10-minutes to go, no real opportunity to strut his stuff. 3/10.
12. Stefce SOLESKI ? More of a time-wasting substitution when coming on in the 93rd minute. No chance to prove himself whatsoever. 2/10.
99. Chris GODOY BASCUR ? Came on with just four minutes of normal time remaining, crossed for one goal and scored Bankstown?s 3rd with a minute of stoppage time left. What an inspired substitution! 5/10.
20. Andrew BAZI & 21 Hussein AKIL ? Did not play.
20. Sam EMMANOUIL ? Couldn?t be blamed for any of the goals against him, did well most of the match. 7/10.
4. Mirko JURILJ ? Good game if a little down on form for this one. 6/10.
6. Roger GALAYINI ? Sent off along with Studman but for charging in after the initial challenge and starting a near riot on the pitch. 1/10.
7. Milorad SIMONOVIC ? Decent game if below par on the night. 7/10.
8. Paul WITHER ? Came close to a send-off after receiving yellow card. Not his best match of the season and subbed near the end. 6/10
9. Anthony HARTSHORN ? Didn?t do too badly up until being straight red carded for a tackle on Devrimol. 5/10.
10. Anthony DOUMANIS ? Subbed at half-time with suspected injury via that horrendous Brett Studman tackle early on in the match. No real opportunity to shine. 5/10.
14. Shannon COLE ? Decent effort but well below his best on this occasion in perhaps his final match for Olympic. 5/10.
16. Nathan SHERLOCK ? One of the best in a losing side, made several last ditch tackles inside the box. Good game. 7/10.
18. Chris TRIANTIS ? Best on the pitch for the runners-up but couldn?t help prevent the final scoreline. 8/10.
73. Matthew JURMAN ? Had a header go just wide in the first half and was carded in the second. 6/10.
11. Carlo MUSUMECI ? Came on for Cole after 71-minutes, holding role initially but didn?t show enough on the day. Can play much better. 3/10.
12. James KOVAS ? Late substitute, no great length of time on the pitch nor to shine. 2/10.
19. Marino MUSUMECI ? Came on at half-time for Doumanis, didn?t play too badly but only for half of the match. 4/10.
37. Siraj ALL-TAL & 21 Nesta TSIOUSTAS ? Did not play.
*Report by Joseph Carlucci
*Statistics by Stuart Jones
*Player Ratings by Micky Brock