Sydney Olympic’s Max Burgess broke Hakoah Sydney City East hearts firing home deep in injury time to snatch a 2-2 at Hensley Athletic Field on Saturday.
A quick-fire double from Hakoah winger Anthony Frangie looked to have given all three points to the home side, but they were unable to deny the league leaders from claiming a point.
Olympic were at their electric best during the first half. Alejandro Sanchez Lopez outpaced his defender before he slotted home after 15 minutes. The visitors could’ve piled on the score albeit for their wastefulness in front of goal.
It was a completely different story in the second half as Olympic’s performance tailed off in the second stanza and Hakoah took advantage with Frangie’s double seemingly enough for Gavin Rae’s side enough to claim a shock upset.
However, it wasn’t to be for Hakoah as Burgess struck in the 95th minute to ensure Olympic didn’t go home empty handed.
Fresh on his return from New Zealand national team duty, Andre De Jong buzzed around the field in the first minutes and snatched at the first shot that drifted wide.
Chances remained at a premium for the home side in the first 45 minutes. Olympic held the majority of possession and chances as they caught Hakoah in transition on several occasions.
In the seventh minute Anthony Bouzanis was called into action as he tipped an effort from Jason Madonis over the crossbar.
Sanchez has been lethal in front of goal this season, and the striker caught the defence on the hop in the 15th minute as he used his rapid pace to drive into the area. The Spaniard was cool in front of goal calmly slotting home for his ninth of the season to give Olympic a 1-0 lead.
The visitors had an eye for goal as Max Burgess and Sanchez continued to torment the Hakoah Sydney defence. Both attackers looked in imperious form as they peppered Bouzanis and his back line.
Hakoah sprung to life late in the half when Harry Jones connected well with a De Jong cross that he nodded over the bar. Moments later Frangie was gifted space as the forward crashed an effort against the crossbar and out.
Despite their improved form the home side headed to the break, down 1-0.
Coming out of the break both sides traded chances. Burgess and Frangie both went close with efforts as the tempo started to lift.
Luck deserted Olympic in the 54th minute. Jinya An had a set piece sail through the 18 yard box, without a touch, and brushed the post before it went out.
De Jong looked to spark an ailing Hakoah side as he forced Olympic keeper Paul Henderson into his first save of the match in the 55th minute.
The momentum paid off for the Eastern Suburbs side as theyfound their equaliser after 66 minutes.
Amaury Gauthier knocked down the ball into the path of Frangie. The striker fired a first time volley past a disparing Henderson to make it 1-1.
The home side doubled their delight three minutes later.
An angled free-kick from the left took an unfortunate touch from an Olympic defender and nestled into the net, suddenly it was 2-1 to Hakoah.
From there, the home side looked more lively. De Jong went close after some silky build up from Guathier and then Harry Jones angled one over as the hosts pressed for a third.
Time started to tick down, and it looked like Olympic were going to fall to another frustrating defeat, as Nikolas Tsattalios flicked an effort wide. Abbas Saad and his men appeared resigned to defeat.
Enter Burgess. In the final minute of time added on, Olympic FC swept forward for one final time. Burgess picked up the ball around the box, turned well and sent the traveling fans into raptures as he fired into the net to secure a 2-2 draw.
Hakoah coach Gavin Rae was a frustrated man at full-time but praised his side’s second half performance that he believed should’ve earnt them three points.
“It was very frustrating with how it ended,” he said.
“We didn’t play well in the first half but changed it in the second.
“We definitely worked hard in the second half but we gave away two points in the end.”
For Saad, he lamented another game where the ladder leaders failed to convert their chances and ultimately, were happy to snatch a point at the end.
“It should’ve been over in the first half hour. Credit to them they took it to us in the second half and really, we pinched a point,” he said.
“We’ve got to be consistent. You can’t stop playing in this competition. It’s a tough lesson and hopefully we learn from that.
“You’ve need to have that killer instinct in front of goal and we need to do better with that, as they weren’t hard chances tonight.”
Hakoah Sydney City East 2 (Frangie 66’, 69’)
Sydney Olympic FC 2 (Sanchez 15′, Burgess 95’)
Saturday 16 June 2018
Hensley Athletic Field
Referee: K Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: N Backo, P Teleki
Fourth Official: A Brett
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1. BOUZANIS Anthony, 3. KOUTA Michael, 5. STAMATELLIS Mitchell, 6. DRAPER Cameron (20. COMBES ’45), 8. GREEN Oliver (60. NOJI ’64), 10. DE JONG Andre, 13. EZEKIAL Robert, 14. FRANGIE Anthony, 17. JONES Harry, 19. COX Domenic, 21. GAUTHIER Amaury (7. J. GREEN ’88)
Substitutes not used: 11. CRIGHTON Jordan 40. FIGUERIA Michael
Yellow cards: Gauthier, Frangie
Red cards: nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. HENDERSON Paul, 2. WHITESIDE Thomas, 6. KULESKI Nicola (9. PAVICEVIC ’68), 7. ANGEL William, 8. MADONIS Jason (5. DEMETRIOU ’82), 10. BURGESS Max, 11. AN JINYA 12. MACKENZIE Zachary, 14. SANCHEZ LOPEZ Alejandro, 18. HOOPER Brendan (33. TSATTALIOS ’76), 23. WOODCOCK Riley
Substitutes not used: 19. BURGESS Darcy 20. CONSONI Ezequiel
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
–By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Justin Davies