WOLLONGONG OLYMPIC v BULLI | IPL ROUND 1 | MATCH REPORT
Wollongong Olympic fought back to grab a momentous 2-1 against Bulli at the PCYC on Sunday in a result that could have huge ramifications on the title race come season’s end.
Luke Van Zyl gave Bulli a 1-0 lead seconds before half time, but Olympic turned up the intensity after the break with Hikaru Kawasakiya notching a match-winning double.
A couple of heavy hits were the main talking points of the opening half until the 43rd minute when Kawasakiya put the ball in the back of the net only to be flagged for a tight offside.
The first goal came in with virtually the last kick of the first period with Joel Beattie feeding Van Zyl into the right of the box before the wideman fired the ball across Justin Pasfield and into the bottom left corner.
Olympic came close to an equaliser in the 55th minute when Chris Price’s cross found an unmarked Kawasakiya who headed wide, but the Japanese forward made up for it two minutes later when he was played through on goal before slotting his shot past Ben McGinnes.
The hosts were causing Bulli plenty of concerns with their fast transitions and their second goal would come via a quick throw which led to Tori Musumeci playing the ball to Kawasakiya to tuck away his brace.
Bulli desperately pushed forward and came close to scoring a second on two occasions in the final 10 minutes.
The first was a broken-down corner which ended with Ian Clarino turning the ball in before being judged offside and the second was a deep free-kick from Van Zyl which found Nick Littler who thumped his header against the crossbar.
Olympic nearly netted a couple more goals in added on time with an opportunistic strike from Tyren Maclou and then Josh Macdonald, but ultimately, two goals was all they needed to secure the first-round win.
Wollongong Olympic land a huge first-round win.
Olympic 2 Bulli 1
— Football South Coast (@FSC_Official) March 28, 2021
After the match, Olympic coach George Antoniou wasn’t prepared to get too ahead of himself regarding the significance of the result, but he did admit his side stepped up in the second half.
“We were in the game in the first half and I think they got one against the run of play [due to] some bad defensive positioning,” Antoniou said.
“We knew that if we got some balls into the right places we could cause them some problems in the second half and that’s what we did.”
Wollongong Olympic will look to go two wins from two matches on Good Friday when they host Cringila, who went down 1-0 to the Albion Park White Eagles.
As for Bulli, they make the short trip to Tarrawanna on Good Friday.
Wollongong Olympic: 2 (Hikaru Kawasakiya 57’ 75’)
Bulli: 1 (Luke Van Zyl 45+1’)
Wollongong Olympic: 1. PASFIELD Justin, 6. HARTAS David, 26. EVERY Mark, 4. O’ROUKE James, 19. PRICE Chris, 18. PAPPAS Jason, 16. ZUCCO Ben, 8. LAVALLE Joe, 12. HAWKER Josh, 99. MACDONALD Josh, 11. KAWASAKIYA Hikaru
Substitutes: 9. MUSEMECI Tori (LAVALLE), 14. MACLOU Tyren (HAWKER), 17. MENDES Michael, 15. D’ALMEIDA Ekoue (HARTAS), 77. GENUA Luke
Bulli: 1. MCGINNES Ben, 2. JACKSON Kyle, 9. MCDONALD Ben, 35. DAVIES Sam, 7. VAN ZYL Luke, 16. KNIGHT Guy, 8. LEVY Guy, 15. LITTLER Nick, 19. CLARINO Ian, 11. BEATTIE Joel, 5. FOSTER Luke
Substitutes: 10. DEL TURCO Mitch (LEVY), 25. ADNUM Sam (FOSTER), 22. BRYCE Lachlan, 14. ASHBURNER Cody, 21. KLUDASS Braeden
Date: Sunday 28 March
Venue: PCYC, North Wollongong
Referee: Andrew Naylor
Assistant Referees: Reece Edwards and Jing Li
Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photo by Dana Walker