Warriors Down City
The Olympia FC Warriors finally defeated a top four opponent and in the process almost certainly ended City’s title hopes. After Tyler Fischer had fired City into an early lead, the Warriors dominated the rest of the contest and despite some top quality saves from Niko Giantsopoulos, City eventually yielded with Joffrey Nkoso firing home the match winning goal.
City got their jump on their opposition in a manner that would cause the Warriors a few issues throughout the game. The pace of Tyler Fischer when he could get 1 v 1 with Holmes was always going to be a foot race the American would win, and he stormed in behind and slammed his shot between the keeper’s legs to give his side the lead inside of 10 minutes.
Joy turned to despair in the blink of an eye for the visitors, however, when Noah Mies succumbed to a groin injury forcing him off and removing one of City’s key attacking weapons.
The game was almost back on terms after Castaneda floated in a free kick which Holmes met with a perfect glancing header. At full extension, Giantsopoulos pulled off a tremendous save to keep him out and then recovered well to deny Little on the follow-up.
Fischer then stormed in behind the defence for the second time and tried to repeat his finish between the legs, only for Johnson to this time get a piece of the ball and send it fractionally wide.
It was a huge sliding doors moment in the game, from a potential 2-0 lead to a 1-1 ball game just moments later when Eduardo Castaneda’s snapshot caught Giantsopoulos by surprise and snuck in.
The Warriors should have headed into the break with the lead, bossing the last 15 minutes of the half, but Nkoso volleyed a great chance over the bar after a delightful ball from Castaneda, whose delivery throughout the game was first rate.
Olympia looked the more likely side to go on and win the game and on the hour mark, they had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot after Lucas Hill had been sent tumbling. Up stepped Paul Stevens who couldn’t beat Giantsopolos, the Canadian making it consecutive weeks with penalty stops.
It was looking like the Candian was going to be the bane of the Warriors, making two more good saves as the half ticked by as the game entered the final few minutes locked at 1-1.
Enter Hugh Undy, having been subbed on to make his return, he beat Millington all ends up with a delightful piece of skill on the right-hand side of the box, before putting the ball on a platter for Nkoso in the middle of the penalty area. Nkoso could hardly miss, and he duly stroked home the goal that the Warriors had been threatening to produce all half.
Jarrod Linger almost produced an immediate reply, but his powerful volley couldn’t find a way through the sea of bodies in the way. With City throwing men forwards they were opened up at the back and the Warriors had two chances to ice the game, but Nkoso and Wadawu couldn’t beat the imperious Giantsopoulos.
The Canadian would end up on the wrong side of the result despite his performance though, Olympia deserved winners on the weight of chances they produced. The 2-1 scoreline securing the win, their first top four scalp of the season and something to build on for 2019.