Sydney Olympic holds on for victory at Parramatta FC


Sydney Olympic?s direct approach in slippery conditions kept their opposition on the back foot throughout the match, however the visitors were fortunate late on as Parramatta FC spurned several golden chances to equalise in the second-half after the visitors had failed to extend their early advantage.
The first clear chance of the match fell to Smith, who managed to latch onto Phil Makrys? deep free-kick only to glance his header wide of goal.
Almir Dizdaric was on target at the other end as the tall striker poorly connected with a cross from the right wing while under pressure from Brett Studman, providing Paul Henderson with the easiest of saves.
David Gullo called Anthony Costa into action with a low drive from the edge of the 18-yard box soon after; the Parramatta shot-stopper was equal to the task, holding the ball in the slippery conditions.
Sydney Olympic were not to be denied for much longer, grabbing the early advantage on 8? minutes. Robert Mileski was the architect, sliding a precise pass behind the Parramatta FC backline for Smith to beat the offside trap and place the ball past Anthony Costa to open the scoring.
With Sydney Olympic dominating the run of play, Chris Triantis found space to pull the strings in attack, and was unlucky not to pick up an assist when smart long balls were wasted by Mileski and Smith, with Mileski handballing and Smith losing his footing in the wet as he beared down on goal.
Mileski called Costa into action again midway through the first-half, turning past Tom Wilson to dispatch a low driven shot into the safe hands of the Parramatta custodian.
Parramatta?s best chance of the half fell to Shayne Ardle, who was unfortunate to scuff his shot from 6-yards, slipping in the wet conditions after he was teed up by Matthew Osman.
The defensive scare prompted Olympic to push for a second goal, bombarding the Parramatta goal to no avail throughout the final 15? minutes of the first period.
Smith twice created glorious chances for Mileski, with Costa bravely saving the striker?s first effort at the expense of a corner before Mileski headed wide when unmarked in front of goal shortly after.
Smith himself also went close when he again connected with a Makrys free-kick only to see Costa well positioned to deny Smith his second goal.
Despite being generally outplayed in the middle, Parramatta FC pushed for an equaliser as Bryan Soane flashed a 20-yard drive across face of goal from a tight angle before Dizdaric?s foul on Henderson from Chris Camilleri?s late free-kick let the last chance of the half go begging as Olympic took their one goal lead into the interval.
Sydney Olympic were first out of the blocks again in the second-half as Peter Triantis stung the palms of Costa when his 25-yard volley forced the Parramatta goalkeeper into a spectacular diving save.
The second-half quickly turned into a scrappy affair, with the slippery conditions forcing the use of long balls and leading to several mistimed challenges.
Substitute Kataiba Elrich came on for Parramatta FC midway through the half, and the striker was quickly in the thick of the action. The enigmatic striker soon played his way through on goal with a smart one-two with Dizdaric only to be denied by Henderson, who was quick off his line to dive at Elrich?s feet and pick the ball out of the air at his second attempt.
Chris Triantis was equally as dangerous at the other end, skipping past Peter Crevani to dart into the penalty-area and drive a low cross into the 6-yard box. Costa showed great determination to tip the cross away before saving Smith?s follow-up from 25-yards.
Parramatta went agonisingly close to equalising when Osman intercepted the ball on the edge of Olympic?s 18-yard box before placing his shot onto the post, which rebounded into Henderson?s back, and then trickled across the face of goal before the defence belatedly cleared to safety.
The visitors surged forward in an attempt to seal the three points, however Costa stood firm in goal, blocking Triantis? 25-yard shot before twice denying Smith to keep his side in the match.
His efforts should have been rewarded in the closing minutes as Elrich picked out Osman in the box, yet the striker placed his shot straight at Henderson to let Olympic off the hook.
Elrich should have grabbed the equaliser himself soon after when Brodie Mooy?s header put him unmarked in front of goal, however the substitute volleyed over the crossbar with the outside of his boot from 6-yards, much to the disbelief of the home crowd.
With that, Sydney Olympic controlled the ball in added time to maintain their advantage and seal a valuable away victory.
Sydney Olympic coach Peter Tsekenis was happy with his side?s performance, indicating that their direct approach in these conditions was what got them over the line:
?Obviously the field was not the best to play football so I gave the boys their instructions and I thought they followed them quite well,? said Tsekenis.
?I thought we were probably unlucky not to be three or four up at half-time.
Tsekenis was also relieved to have avoided conceding a late equaliser to hold on for the win:
?Football?s a funny game,? said Tsekenis
?You always think in the back of your head that if you don?t finish your chances you might concede one. To be honest they had a couple of chances there, but it would have been criminal had they got one back.
?I think we deserved that win and it was good to win away from home as we are every week,? Tsekenis added.
Brian Dene was notably disappointed with the result, and while he could draw positives out his side?s second-half performance, a first win of their NSW Premier League campaign still eludes the side:
?Something?s going to have to change,? said Dene.
?We made some small changes today, perhaps we?ll have to make some more to get something out of it.
?I thought they were very predictable with what they did, playing long balls up to Smith in the first-half, but we just didn?t pressure them enough and they got their first goal.
?When we did start to pressure them, things almost changed for us.
?It?s a tough hard battle, we?ve just got to keep plugging away,? Dene concluded.
The afternoon?s early Grade-20 fixture saw Parramatta FC secure a 3-2 victory over Sydney Olympic.
Match Stats
Parramatta FC 0
Sydney Olympic 1 (Alex Smith 8?)
Monday 25th April, 2011
Melita Stadium, South Granville
Referee: Alex Glasgow
Assistant Referees: Bashar Allam and Justin Brady
Fourth Official: Matt Cropper
Crowd: 300 Approx.
Parramatta FC: 21.Anthony Costa; 2.Nick McInerney, 3.Daniel Borg (15.Ben Delicata 85?), 6.Thomas Wilson, 7.Shane Ardle (9.Kataiba Elrich 61?), 8.Bryan Soane, 10.Chris Camilleri, 11.Peter Crevani, 17.Matthew Osman, 18.Almir Dizdaric (14.Fabien Iacovelli 72?), 19.Brodie Mooy
Substitutes Not Used: 23.Tomislav Romic, 20.Evangelos Petratos
Yellow Cards: Kataiba Elrich 65?, Chris Camilleri 93?
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic: 1.Paul Henderson; 18.Jerry Kalouris, 16.Peter Triantis, 2.Emmanuel Giannaros, 3.Brett Studman, 5.Richard Luksic, 19.David Gullo (14.Will Angel 61?), 6.Alex Smith, 11.Robert Mileski (23.Takayami Omi 66?), 7.Phil Makrys, 8.Chris Triantis (9.Husky Akil 89?)
Substitutes Not Used: 4.Ibrahim Haydar, 21.Nenad Vekic
Yellow Cards: Peter Triantis 45?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Anthony Costa (PFC)
2 ? Alex Smith (SO)
1 ? Brett Studman (SO)
-By Michael Shoolman