OLYMPIC TRIUMPH AGAINST UNITED IN OPENING ROUND DERBY
Wollongong Olympic got their defence of the League Championship off to a flyer as they defeated recently crowned Fraternity Club Cup champions Wollongong United 3-1 at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. The scoring was opened just four minutes in when John Martinoski converted from the spot before the 38th minute when Matthew Floro doubled the visitors’ advantage. Yu Hasegawa scored with a composed finish two minutes later to give Olympic a three-goal advantage heading into the break. Danny Lazerevski pulled one back midway through the second half but it only proved a consolation.
Straight from the off, Olympic looked to create issues for the hosts which resulted in the award of a penalty within the first five minutes. John Martinoski stepped up from the spot and sent a left-footed strike into the left-hand side of the net with Jordan Nikolovski diving the wrong direction.
United began to feel their way into the game and 15 minutes later, the side created a scoring opportunity. A ball out to the left-hand side found Hikaru Kawasakiya who made his way into the box and produced a left-footed shot which required Olympic debutant Justin Pasfield to palm the ball over the crossbar for a corner kick.
On the half-hour mark, Yu Hasegawa was played through one-on-one with the goalkeeper but an incredible sliding challenge prevented the Japanese national from getting a shot off. Two minutes later, United came forward through Zac McLaren who took aim from outside the box in a central position but the shot was tame and was easily gathered by Pasfield.
Four minutes later, the visitors scored their second. A ball played into the right-hand channel found Yu Hasegawa who calmly passed the ball across goal to give Matthew Floro a simple tap-in. Two minutes after this, Hasegawa had a goal of his own. A cross in from the right-hand side was controlled well by the number nine who showed great composure to pass the ball into the corner.
Olympic went into the break with a resounding 3-0 advantage.
It was an action-packed start the second period with Olympic creating two chances in the opening five minutes. A ball from the right-hand side found Keegan Matias who the angle became narrow for forcing a shot which was parried away a corner. From that corner, the ball found Martinoski on the top of the box who attempted to a curl a strike into the top corner but Nikolovski was equal to it.
A minute later, United’s Jeremy Flanagan tried to capitalise on a miscommunication in the Olympic defence with two of them jumping for the ball, however, Flanagan failed to find the target with his left-footed shot from inside the box dragging the ball across the goal.
Just before the hour mark, United created another opportunity this time through substitute Michael Mendes. Mendes fired a left-footed shot towards the near post of Pasfield but the former Wollongong Wolves keeper got down low to prevent the ball from finding the net.
The hosts continued to search for a route back into the game and in the 68th minute, Daniel Lazarevski pulled one back. A corner from the left-hand side found Mendes who swung a ball back into the box this time from the opposite side. The ball was headed away again but only as far as Lazarevski who thundered a volley into the top corner from the edge of the box.
United continued their pressure and three minutes later conjured up another opportunity. Kawasakiya picked up the ball on the left-hand side and delivered a cross into the box which was just cleared away before any United player could get anything on the ball. Flanagan looked to pull another back for the home side a minute later as he found himself inside the box on the left-hand side with an opportunity to shoot but the shot only found the side-netting.
Wollongong Olympic held on to secure an important three points against Wollongong United.
United will look to get their first victory of the league season when they face up to Tarrawanna Blueys at Tarrawanna Oval next Saturday afternoon while Wollongong Olympic will play host to South Coast United at the same time.
Wollongong United 1 (Danny Lazarevski 68’)
Wollongong Olympic 3 (John Martinoski 4’, Matthew Floro 38’, Yu Hasegawa 40’)
Wollongong United: 60. NIKOLOVSKI Jordan, 19. BROOKS Ben, 3. DIAS Andre, 11. KAWASAKIYA Hikaru, 26. KAWAKAMI Seiji, 42. LAZAREVSKI Danny, 44. MCLAREN Zac, 17. O’ROUKE James, 41. THOMAS Sean, 20. TSOVOLOS Billy, 14. FLANAGAN Jeremy
Substitutes: 7. MENDES Michael (O’ROUKE), 30. SEKUTOSKI Klime (DIAS), 10. VERSI Mason (THOMAS), 8. CORRIERA Josh, 23. YAMADA Mitsuo
Wollongong Olympic: 1. PASFIELD Justin, 6. HORTAS David, 50. LAVELLE Joey, 5. KEATING Jack, 26. EVERY Mark, 4. CARLI James, 18. BALDACCHINO James, 22. MATIAS Keegan, 10. MARTINOSKI John, 7. FLORO Matthew, 9. HASEGAWA Yu
Substitutes: 21. ROOKE Alexander (MARTINOSKI), 23. STOJCEVSKI (MATIAS), 11. HAINES-GROSE Corey (FLORO), 21. MIYAMOTO Seiya, 54. HAWKER Joshua
Date: 25 July 2020
Venue: Macedonia Park
Referee: Bobby Mazevski
Assistant Referees: Caleb Blanch and Anna Phipps
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photo courtesy of Richie Wagner