Sydney Olympic has moved to top spot in the National Premier Leagues NSW competition after thrashing Sutherland Sharks 3-0 at Seymour Shaw on Saturday.
A screamer from Radovan Pavicevic and a double from Jason Madonis did the damage for Olympic as they cruised to a comprehensive win on the back of an impressive second half performance.
It wasn’t all one way traffic with the Sharks holding firm for the opening 45 minutes as both teams went into the interval scoreless.
However, Olympic were in too good form to be denied and Pavicevic’s 55th minute strike opened the floodgates as the visitors raced away to secure a vital three competition points and top spot on the ladder.
Olympic started the game in fine fettle with a quality chance after only two minutes. Riley Woodcock chased down the ball before he beat his marker inside the box and put in a teasing cross that no Olympic player was able to pounce on for a tap in.
The early signs were good for the visitors particularly when skipper Max Burgess put Woodcock through again moments later but again another delightful ball into the box went unrewarded.
Jacob Tratt needed to be sharp to break up Olympic attacks twice in the heart of the Sharks defence as they found themselves slightly under the pump inside the opening ten minutes.
William Angel fired wide after some good interchanges between Burgess and Radovan Pavicevic moments later, but it was Alejandro Sanchez who should have put Olympic ahead in the 14th minute.
Brave ‘keeping from Ryan Norval kept the Sharks in the game when he dived at Sanchez’s feet to deny a golden opportunity.
The Sharks finally had a chance of their own when Leroy Jennings had a shot blocked before Olympic keeper Paul Henderson was required moments later to deny Adrian Vranic with an acrobatic save.
Madonis produced another excellent save from Norval in the 23rd minute when he unleashed a stinging shot from distance which was pushed over the crossbar.
Sutherland were hanging at the interval on but Olympic must have gone into the sheds wondering how they were not in front at this stage however the game.
The game continued to go all Olympic’s way as Pavicevic almost caught Norval out off his line with a cross-cum-shot in the opening minute of the second stanza.
In the 55th minute it was that man Pavicevic who finally found the breakthrough for Olympic.
The former Newcastle Jets youth product unleashed an incredible curling strike from the edge of the penalty area which Norval had no chance of stopping.
The strike will certainly be a solid contender for Goal of the Week, but more importantly for Olympic it gave them a 1-0 lead.
After Pavicevic’s goal, the floodgates opened for Olympic and they were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute which Madonis duly converted to make it 2-0.
Olympic were awarded a penalty when Madonis was upended in the box. Picking himself up he took the spot kick himself and netted in the 65’ minute to give the visitors a two goal lead.
Madonis claimed a second goal only five minutes later when he finished a slick passing move to stretch their advantage to 3-0.
Sharks coach, Grant Lee, rang the changes by bringing on Nick Littler and James Temelkovski with 15-minutes to go but it was too little, too late for Sutherland.
Both Tratt and Bartels tried their luck from distance but were wide of the mark and, in truth, Henderson was never tested greatly throughout the 90 minutes.
An injury to skipper Max Burgess in the dying stages was the only damper on what was an impressive night for Olympic.
Sutherland and former Olympic coach Grant Lee rued defensive lapses after the final whistle.
“I felt we did quite well early on, we stayed in the game and had a couple of opportunities,” he said.
“Olympic had chances and we were hanging in there, but silly mistakes again has cost us in a match.
“We were forced to change formation and suddenly we’re chasing the game before it’s put out of reach. It appeared to me only then that we decided we wanted to turn up and start playing. You have to think to yourself, where was that intensity at the start? What were we thinking?
“The players are old enough to know better and Olympic were just too smart for us and too well organised. Sadly it took until the final 15 minutes for us to get going.
“It was a match in which we were dominated but shouldn’t have been because we could match their intensity so that was disappointing.”
Olympic coach Abbas Saad was all smiles post game praising his side’s performance and determination.
“Our instruction tonight was that we had to be dominant from the start against a very good Sharks team,” he said.
“Sutherland are a young team and we didn’t want to be complacent. We know we are a good side and we want to play football, but technique alone without some bite and determination won’t win you games.
“You have to respect the opposition in all games in this league and Grant (Lee) has got his side full of running and ability.
“I said to the boys that we have to be on the front foot and we have to dominate them right from the start. I felt that we did that tonight and I have to be pleased with the performance and the points.”
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Saturday, 5th May 2018
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistants: Scott Edeling & Joon park
Fourth Official: Jack Casey
Sutherland Sharks 0
Sydney Olympic 3 (Pavicevic 55’, Madonis 65’pen, 70’
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Ryan Norval, 2.Jacob Tratt, 4.Hayden Morton, 5.Bradley Bartels (13.Robert Watson 89’), 6.Lachlan Everett, 9.Adrian Vranic, 10.Joshua Da Silva (15.Nick Littler 75’), 12.Blair Brown, 16.Ryoga Suyama (32.James Temelkovski 75’), 17.Leroy Jennings, 20.Keisuke Hayashi
Substitues not used: 11.Hristijan Tanoski, 21.Nikola Loe
Yellow Cards: Tratt 43’, Brown 80’
Sydney Olympic: 1.Paul Henderson, 2.Tom Whiteside, 4.George Timotheo, 6.Nicola Kuleski (19.Darcy Burgess 81’), 7.William Angel, 8.Jason Madonis (5.Rafael Jimenez 87’), 9.Radovan Pavicevic (33.Niko Tsattalios 73’), 10.Max Burgess, 11.Jinya An, 14.Alejandro Sanchez, 23.Riley Woodcock
Substitutes not used: 20.Ezequiel Consoni, 26.Billy Patramanis
Yellow Cards: Pavicevic 39’, Kuleski 45’, Woodcock 50’
3 – Jason Madonis (SO)
2 – Jinya An(SO)
1 – Riley Woodcock (SO)
-By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Micky Brock