R12 Wrap: Adelaide Olympic v West Adelaide
Adelaide Olympic scored in the last minute of second half injury time to claim a 3-3 draw in a pulsating clash with West Adelaide in Round 12 PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia at Elite Systems Football Centre on Sunday.
John Karatzas gave West a half-time lead, after which the game exploded. Christopher Mara and Fausto Erba turned it around with two goals in four minutes, only for Tom Briscoe and Hikaru Tanaka to restore West’s lead.
Olympic’s Shigeyuki Sogo equalised in dramatic fashion with almost the last kick of the game.
Olympic coach Maurice Natale praised his team’s determination.
“Our first half was sluggish in patches, but we were really good in the second half, we got it together,” the coach said.
“We left ourselves open a few times, but the ability to push forward was a credit to the guys. Happy we showed self-belief that we can hit back at any time.
“It was a game where both teams were desperate for points and at the end of the day a draw is a fair result.”
West Adelaide’s Perry Mitris says the result feels like a loss.
“We were quite comfortable in the first half and playing well. They came out firing at the start of the second half and we were asleep,” he said.
“But we showed character to fight back. To then to draw at the end hurts, it does feel like a loss.”
“We played good football and stuck to the instructions, but it is two points we will miss.
“We hope we have pulled out of the slump. We are starting to gel as a team and recent results have been decent. The team is in good spirits and we are looking forward to our next game against Adelaide City.”
Erba had a golden opportunity to open the scoring after only six minutes, but hooked his shot wide when free at the far post.
Mitris’ curled free-kick was headed for the top corner, only for a superb Gino De Lucia save.
Karatzas ghosted past two players in the 28th minute and cracked a shot from distance which De Lucia got a hand to, but could only palm into the corner to give West the lead.
Olympic equalised seven minutes into the second half. Matthew Bouzalas’ deep cross was met by Mara, who stooped low to guide a header past Lewis Moss.
The home side turned the game around moments later. Erba burst through the West Adelaide defence and tucked the ball under Moss to put Olympic ahead.
But the reigning champions recovered to equalise in the 58th minute. Briscoe latched on to a loose ball as Olympic half-cleared a cross, arrowing his effort into the top corner.
In a topsy-turvy second half it was West Adelaide who regained the lead in the 67th minute. Karatzas spread the ball wide and Ricardo Da Silva’s centring pass was met by Tanaka, who poked the ball past De Lucia.
Tanaka had the chance to seal the result as the rain teemed down, but was denied by De Lucia when clear on goal.
Moss had to tip behind an injury time Oliver Totani free-kick which appeared headed for the far corner.
Yet Olympic dramatically equalised in the 95th minute. Moss spilled another deep Totani free-kick and Sogo nodded the ball in from close range, closing a pulsating second half.
Written by Luca Cetta - @l_cetta