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Cringila Lions moved back up towards the top places of the Illawarra Premier League with a 3-2 win over Wollongong Olympic on Sunday afternoon at PCYC. 

Anthony Krsteski gave the side an early lead before Olympic equalised in the 27th minute through Jarvis Paterson.

Riki Koyanagi re-established Cringila’s lead three minutes later to give them the advantage heading into the sheds.

Paterson bagged his second goal just after the hour mark. But Lions’ talisman Peter Simonoski put a defining mark on the match a few minutes later with a goal to win it for the visitors.

Cringila started the match with great purpose and grabbed the lead after five minutes. A right-sided corner bobbled around in the area before Krsteski stabbed home with a sharp finish.

The Lions sprung forward again two minutes later, looking to catch Olympic asleep a second time early on. Koyanagi raced down the right wing, getting into the box before seeing his effort spin wide of the near post.

The hosts began to gain a bit more control eight minutes in when Paterson latched onto a quickly-taken, deep free-kick, but he skewed his shot high and wide.

Two minutes after that, Krsteski threatened from another corner, this time getting on the end of Ben Zucco’s left-sided delivery, however, the ball flew just over.

Krsteski was lively again midway through the half as he made room for a shot in the left of the box that Olympic goalkeeper Justin Pasfield was forced to palm over.

Olympic started to gain some control in the match after this latest chance, holding possession more comfortably.

This paid dividends for the side in the 27th minute when a long ball into the left channel found Guy Knight, who tapped the ball across for Paterson to lash into the roof of the net.

However, three minutes later, the side went behind for the second time. The home side failed to deal with another chaos-causing Zucco corner, with Koyanagi firing the ball home from close in.

The Lions built on this momentum and could have doubled their lead 34 minutes in. Pasfield sprinted out of goal to clear an errant back pass, and the ball rolled to Krsteski, who attempted to chip the goalkeeper, but Olympic defender Chris Price got back to clear the ball.

Tempers flared just before halftime when a crude challenge in front of the benches saw both teams converge and several yellow cards brandished.

Cringila went into the sheds with a 2-1 advantage after a feisty opening half at PCYC.

Olympic put Cringila under pressure straight after halftime with some dangerous deliveries into the box, but the Lions held firm.

Around five minutes later, Paterson went close for the hosts. The forward battled to control a long ball into the box and drew a top save to his right from Lions’ goalkeeper Nikola Ristevski with a powerful strike.

Simonoski took the ball down the other end soon after for the visitors and volleyed wide of the right post from the left of the area.

Olympic went the closest they had come to a goal in the 61st minute as a central free-kick lofted into the area fell to Harry Callahan who hit the crossbar with his shot.

The team’s strong second-half performance produced a goal three minutes later. Lukas Stergiou clipped a ball in behind into the left channel for Paterson where the winger slotted a composed finish under Ristevski.

The Lions responded over the few minutes and retook the lead in the 71st minute. Krsteski took on Kyle Jackson down the left and stood a ball up for Simonoski who nodded home confidently.

Cringila resumed their assault from set pieces as another rebound came out to Koyanagi but he steered it wide of the right post.

The home side stepped up their pursuit of an equaliser as the match entered the final 10 minutes, generating a late barrage of chances.

Eighty-six minutes in, Ristevski did well to keep out Kade Kinsella’s close-range effort but the waves of Olympic pressure continued.

In a final stoppage-time flurry, Olympic hoisted another direct delivery into the box that looked to have forced the ball over the line, but Ristevski retrieved it.

Not long after, the final whistle was blown to confirm Cringila’s crucial win, which lifted them back into the top places.

The Lions are set to host Bulli on Friday night, while Olympic travel to Wollongong United the day after for an intriguing mid-season derby.

Match Stats

Report by Tim Gibson

Photos courtesy of Edmund Esterbauer




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