Sydney Olympic has kept their premiership push alive with a dominant 4-0 win against Wollongong Wolves at Hooka Creek Park on Sunday.
A brace from Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez helped get the visitors over the line, with Nikolas Tsattalios and Max Burgess also getting on the scoresheet in a productive afternoon for the travelling side.
The result ensures the Abbas Saad coached side remains neck and neck with APIA Leichhardt Tigers for the Premiership and sets up a dramatic final round next week.
Sadly for Wollongong the loss means they finish yet another season outside the top five and out of contention for finals football.
Wollongong had two early chances to take the lead through forward Peter Simonoski, but the Wolves top-scorer was unable to finish either chance in a tough first ten minutes for the hosts.
The striker fired his two early efforts skimming across the Olympic goalmouth.
But it was Olympic who opened the scoring in the 37th minute, the side taking advantage of a building pressure throughout the opening half to finally break the deadlock through Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez.
A great pass from Olympic’s Radovan Pavicevic set up Sanchez-Lopez who burst into the Wolves box with the ball and fired off a powerful effort into the Wollongong goal to make it 1-0.
Sydney Olympic doubled their advantage three minutes into the second-half, with substitute Nikolas Tsattalios making the most of a fantastic cross in from the right-hand side of the field from Pavicevic before heading home past Justin Pasfield.
Wollongong had a chance to pull a goal back four minutes later through Ryan Ensor, who managed to find himself in space thanks to a wonderful pass from Nicholas Montgomery.
However, Ensor was unable to make the chance count, with Olympic gloveman Paul Henderson rushing out and denying the Wollongong chance.
Despite netting in the first-half, Olympic’s leading scorer Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez was not finished for the day and the forward scored his 16th goal of the league campaign in the 79th minute.
The Spaniard picked up the ball after it was centred from substitute James Demetriou before firing home to all but secure the three points for the visitors.
Wollongong’s Ensor had another chance to pick up a consolation goal for the hosts in the 84th minute when he managed to create a one-on-one chance with Olympic shot-stopper Henderson,
But once again the veteran shot stopper was too good, denying Wollongong a goal in their last home match of the season.
The visitors picked up one final goal before the full-time whistle, with Max Burgess tapping an effort past Pasfield in the first minute of stoppage time to complete the win for Olympic.
Sydney Olympic coach Abbas Saad was glad that his side took all three points but notes that his side still has to beat Sydney United 58 and hope the Tigers slip up if Olympic are to take top spot.
“To get the first goal was good, just to give us a little more confidence and settle the nerves down,” he said.
“But the second half, I told the boys they just have to take an extra touch if you have to because of the field, but you need to score. We need to score second and we need to score third. It was a pleasing factor, that we kept our nerve and we played our football and we scored our goals.
“We’ve still got to win our last game, but I told the boys that we needed to come down here and do a job, which we did. Now we need to go back home and do a job. Whatever results with APIA happen, but we have got to look at ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Wollongong coach Jacob Timpano was disappointed by the score line, noting that Olympic managed to make the most of their chances in the match.
“I don’t think it was a 4-0 game, but we’ve seen the difference today and probably over the course of a season, a team like Olympic are clinical,” he said.
“Them being clinical in front of goal is what keeps them at the top of the table and we haven’t been all season.
“Our aim was finals [and] we weren’t good enough. It’s what we were aiming for [but] we will go next week and hopefully end the season on a high.”
Wollongong Wolves 0
Sydney Olympic FC 4 (Alejandro Sanchez 37’, 79’, Nikolas Tsattalios 48’, Max Burgess 91’)
Sunday 5th August, 2018
Hooka Creek Park, Berkeley
Referee: T. Danaskos
Assistant Referees: S. Edeling and N. Wotton
Fourth Official: A. Brett
Wollongong Wolves: 1. Justin Pasfield, 3. Darcy Madden (21. James Carli 82’), 4. Michael Robinson, 5. James Baldacchino, 6. Nicholas Montgomery, 7. Chris Price, 8. Brendan Griffin, 9. Peter Simonoski, 17. Ryan Ensor, 23. Steven Hayes (14. Ethan Kambisios 68’), 30. Yuzo Tashiro (11. Tory Musumeci 57’)
Substitutes Not Used: 16. Luke Kairies (GK), 26. Luke Wilkshire
Yellow Cards: Nicholas Montgomery 43’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Paul Henderson, 2. Tim Whiteside, 6. Nicola Kuleski, 7. Nicholas Angel, 8. Jason Madonis (33. Nikolas Tsattalios 45’), 9. Radovan Pavicevic (5. James Demetriou 72’), 10. Max Burgess, 12. Zac Mackenzie, 14. Alejandro Sanchez, 18. Brendan Hooper, 23. Riley Woodcock
Substitutes Not Used: 11. Jinya An, 19. Darcy Burgess, 20. Ezequiel Consoni
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Cal Behrendt