Wollongong Olympic scored (at least on paper) a comprehensive 4-0 win over Corrimal Rangers yesterday at PCYC. All four goals were courtesy of set pieces as Olympic move one step closer to securing a top three finish.
It was an even start to the game with little to no noteworthy chances inside the opening 25 minutes. The game however kicked into life soon after with a long ball that was flicked on found Tyson Diaz lurking on the far post however, he sliced his shot high and wide from an acute angle as Olympic fired a warning shot.
An Olympic free kick on the half hour mark was floated in the box by Guy Knight. It was flicked on by Nicholas Littler. Corrimal failed to deal with it as it fell nicely to Mark Every who slotted it home from close range to open the scoring.
Just two minutes later, Corrimal’s Luke Paull mustered something out of nothing as he managed to let fly a shot from just outside the box only to see Justin Pasfield make a flying save high to his left to keep it out.
On 33 minutes, Liam Chilton did well to beat his opponent down the right as he crossed to the far post. Harry Callahan was on hand to volley the ball first time however he could not keep the ball down as Olympic threatened once again.
Just five minutes later and down the other end, Pasfield denied Harrison Anagnostopoulos as his free kick from just outside the box forced a top draw save from the experienced gloveman.
With virtually the last kick of the half, Guy Knight’s free kick whizzed just over the bar as it nestled on the roof of the net.
A youthful Corrimal side weren’t intimidated by their more fancied rivals and inside the opening minutes of the second half, they nearly drew level. Some great work down the right by Zane Wilson saw his put in a dangerous ball across the box to the lurking Liam Mavridis however Every threw himself across the ball to literally deny the youngster a goal.
Just seconds later, Paull found himself through on goal and he chipped the advancing Pasfield only to see the ball sail over the bar. It was a golden chance for the Rangers and in the context of the game, perhaps a turning point.
Less than a minute later, Corrimal were made to pay as a speculative long ball from a midfield free kick was flicked in off the bottom of the post by Chris Price. It was a goal out of nothing really and it must have been somewhat disheartening for the Rangers as their early second half dominance was for nought.
On the hour mark, Pasfield made a meal of a clearance as he kicked it into Mavridis. The youngster getting to the ball first however the veteran goalkeeper used his experience to block and delay the shot as help arrived.
On 68 minutes, James Anagnostopoulos let flyer with a long range effort that had Pasfield scrambling.
Just four minutes later, a corner kick found an unmarked Price on the far post and he really should have done better as he headed wide. The Rangers were clearly struggling with the Olympic set pieces.
This was further compounded by the fact that on 78 minutes, another long floating freekick from Knight found Nicholas Litter who from six yards out headed beyond Harrison Matias as the Rangers despite their opportunities, found themselves three down.
Olympic weren’t finished there, a quick throw seemed to catch the Rangers defence napping as the ball was played into the feet of Diaz. He held the ball up well drawing defenders in the box as he squared the ball to Gabriel Zapata, who was only on the field for a few minutes. Zapata’s shot was well placed as it nestled into the top left corner as Matias looked on.
Wollongong Olympic saw out the match which ended 4-0 but, in all fairness, the finishing and set piece efficiency was the difference in the match.
Saturday 22 July @ PCYC
Report by Bobby Mazevski