Olympic And Roar Draw In Derby

Jake McLean, Ben Litfin (Alannah Pearson/OLY)

Words: Matt Dorman, Olympic FC
Image: Alannah Pearson, Olympic FC

Two late goals have seen Olympic FC and Brisbane Roar NYL share the points in an engaging 2-2 draw at Goodwin Park on Friday night.

Olympic trailed 1-0 at the break but fought back to lead 2-1 deep in the second half, before Brandon Borrello grabbed his second to secure a point for the visitors.

Roar were chasing their second victory of the season while the premiers were attempting to snap a two-game losing run, which they would have to do without the services of Ryan Meskell, Matt Mundy, George Barbarouses and Tim Smits.

Brandon Cuminao deputised for Meskell and the young goalkeeper was put to work early with Ben Litfin and former Olympic player Jai Ingham both trying their luck.

Though genuine chances were scant in the opening 20 minutes, Roar clinically took their first.

Olympic midfielder Terry Hughes initially dribbled into the path of the referee before his pass rebounded off the official, allowing the visitors to grab possession and release Borrello in on goal.

The talented striker made full use of the space by unleashing an unstoppable finish into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.

The hosts produced their best move of the match just prior to the half hour when Jake McLean won possession and fed Danny Byrne on the right but the captain’s shot was straight into the chest of Roar ‘keeper Fraser Chalmers.

That action signalled a rush of better chances as first Reuben Way smashed one into the side netting, followed by Devante Clut drawing a strong low save from Cuminao.

Skipper Byrne then had Olympic’s best chance of the half three minutes from half-time when he ran onto a direct ball, but the forward delayed his shot a fraction too long which allowed Lachlan Jackson to get across and make a critical block.

McLean joined the home side’s casualty ward at the break, succumbing to laryngitis to be replaced by Ryan Roderick, though his departure didn’t affect Olympic FC’s momentum as six minutes after the restart they were level.

The ball was moved around the top of the penalty area and found Way, who slipped a tidy pass behind the Brisbane youth team’s defence. Though it seemed Chalmers would smother the loose ball, he was beaten to it by a determined Hughes who slid in the equaliser.

Roar almost immediately recaptured their lead with a trio of close efforts; Ingham first rattled the woodwork, followed by Shannon Brady forcing Cuminao to tip wide and then Cameron Crestani nodding the wrong side of the post from the resulting corner.

The match entered a holding pattern after that period as both teams, desperate for three points, also became cautious of errors.

In the 83rd minute, though, the champions made the breakthrough.

With the match up for grabs, goal scorer Hughes surged to the left-side byline and picked out Way with his cutback for the forward to tap home his sixth of the season.

However, just four minutes later, the even contest was level again.

The visitors pushed forward and Borrello was best positioned to receive possession and fire off a powerful close-range snapshot to make it 2-2 and seal his brace.

No more drama was to come as both teams had to settle for steadying the ship after consecutive losses.

Olympic FC 2 (Terry HUGHES 51′ Reuben WAY 83′)
Brisbane Roar NYL 2 (Brandon BORRELLO 24′ 87′)


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