Canberra Olympic get off the mark with dramatic win
By Michael Djordjieski
A header from Robbie Cattanach in the last three minutes sealed a sensational first win of the 2018 campaign for Canberra Olympic as they defeated Woden-Weston 3-2 at Melrose on Friday night.
The second half was nothing short of entertaining, with four of the matches five goals coming in the second set of 45 minutes.
Olympic’s Mason Interlandi was called into the starting XI after veteran keeper Angelo Konstantinou pulled out just before kick off to make his NPL debut and the shot stopper did not disappoint, making a number of good saves that helped his side gain all three points.
Olympic’s win was made for impressive as Frank Cache was forced to deal with three players sustaining injury during the match while also having personnel pull out before kick-off. Regardless, he chose to stck with three at the back all match and that ultimately propelled his team to achieve success on the night.
For Woden-Weston, it was their first loss of the season after starting with two victories, but there is no doubt Rey Castro and his team will feel they should have come away from the encounter with something, especially after their showing in the second half.
Opportunities were few and far between both sides to start the opening half until Interlandi was forced to make a great save down to his right to prevent the deadlock being broken.
Woden looked to cause their opponents problems on the break, but their play broke down too often and part of that may have had to do with the wet surface on the Melrose pitch.
Just when it looked like the scores would be level heading into half time, Olympic’s Michael John struck with virtually the last kick of the half to open the scoring in first half stoppage time.
However, Castro’s Woden came out with intent to start the second period and got on level terms in the 54th minute through Phakedi Mendah.
Woden’s hard work to get back on level terms only lasted the best part of four minutes when Jeremy Habtemarian finished confidently past Willem Lejeune to regain his teams advantage.
The home team pushed for an equaliser and got it with 25 minutes left courtesy of Bul Juach as he nudged the ball past Interlandi, and that set up a thrilling finish at Melrose.
In what was proving to be a fantastic second half of football, Woden stepped up their intensity at 2-2 and were increasingly looking like the outfit that were going to knick a win.
However, just when the game needed a big player to step up and win it for their side, Cattanach delivered. The midfielder rose highest in the area to head in Oliver Wiederkehr’s cross and give his side a much needed first win of the season.
Olympic turn their attentions to a FFA Cup date with Tigers FC on Wednesday, while Woden-Weston will play Tuggeranong the same night.