R16 Wrap: Adelaide Olympic v Adelaide Comets

Adelaide Comets returned to winning ways with a 4-2 success over Adelaide Olympic in Round 16 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia at Elite Systems Football Centre on Sunday.

Andreas Wiens opened the scoring just prior to the half-hour mark, with Theo Balomenos doubling Comets’ advantage. Ionnis Simosis reduced the deficit before the break, only for Wiens to net his second.

Fausto Erba pulled a goal back to set up a dramatic finish, but Davide Zerillo added the icing on the cake in injury time. Chris Pepe saw red late on for a second bookable offence.

Comets boss Theo Tsiounis was happy the team put the Westfield FFA Cup Qualifying Final loss behind them.

“It was good to get the points in what was a close game. I’m happy to walk away with the three points,” the coach said.

“We were a bit flat. Not sure if it was because of having the Cup game last week, but there were only glimpses of quality out there, not enough overall.

“We had lost a few in a row, so now we want to climb up the ladder. We need to take it a game at a time and continue picking up wins.”

Olympic coach Maurice Natale was left frustrated as his team conceded three or more goals for the fifth successive game.

“It’s very disappointing. We are repeat offenders when it comes to conceding goals,” he said.

“Individual players are not taking responsibility or are executing poor judgment. That was the main thing which went wrong.

“The performance was sound. We played well, but the way we conceded soft goals is becoming frustrating.

“We have critical games coming up against Raiders and South Adelaide. We have to scrap and fight and do what we must to get the wins.”

Haris Vukic controlled at the back post in only the fifth minute, but blasted the ball over the top with time to pick his spot.

Comets goalkeeper Alexander Woodlands was then forced into a fine save to deny Erba’s free kick, as the home side made a bright start.

Jarius Wyten could not control a high ball in the swirling wind and his attempted header back to Gino De Lucia was cut out by Wiens to give Comets a 27th minute lead.

Olympic conceded a soft goal five minutes later as Pepe kept the ball in play from a corner, hooking it back for Balomenos to stab in at the near post with the defence motionless.

The home side pulled one back when Oliver Totani’s flicked through ball on the edge of the penalty area was finished by Simosis.

Yet 10 minutes after half-time Comets re-opened the two goal lead. Pepe chipped the ball through for Wiens to control and finish past De Lucia.

Sean Brennan burst past one defender as Olympic tried to reduce the gap once more, but his shot from distance was well saved by Woodlands.

Olympic went even closer moments later as Tom Maricic’s header hit the post.

De Lucia’s booming kick found its way through to Erba, who blasted Olympic back into the contest with a rasping drive in the 88th minute.

A late challenge saw Pepe handed a second yellow card with injury time beckoning.

Steven Grelli sparked an injury time Comets counter-attack in which Balomenos squared the ball for substitute Zerillo to seal the victory.


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