R3 Wrap: Adelaide Olympic v Adelaide City
Adelaide Olympic pulled themselves off the bottom of the ladder as they bagged their first point of the season in hard fought 3-all draw with Adelaide City.
It was a thrilling way to close out Round 3 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia, as Olympic twice came from behind to take home a share of the points.
Anthony Costa gave the visitors the lead inside the first minute, but Sean Brennan struck twice to give the home side the advantage heading into half time.
Joel Allwright struck late in the second half to bring things back even and Costa grabbed his second with 10 minutes left on the clock to give the visitors the go ahead.
Fausto Erba finished as the hero though, as his expertly taken free kick made sure Olympic would get their first point of the season.
Olympic’s Matthew Bouzalas said his side showed great character to come from behind twice and earn themselves a point.
“I thought we were much better at Sunday’s game against Adelaide City,” he said.
“Although conceding early to turn the game around and take the lead showed great character following the past two weeks results.
“We tinkered with a few things prior to Sunday’s game, aiming to frustrate City and catch them on the counter, I thought it worked to great effect and we have to build on this for next game.”
The foot was eased off the pedal slightly in the second half by Olympic which allowed City back into the game, which Bouzalas said was a good learning curve for the side.
“I thought perhaps we did take our foot off the pedal and for about 30 to 40 minutes of that second half we were great.
“We fell asleep for 5 minutes and conceded 2 goals in that space.
“It’s a great learning curve for us to realise you can’t switch off because great teams punish those errors and lapses of concentration.
“It is just something we have to work on at training this week and prepare for this Saturday against Birkalla.”
Anthony Costa said it was a displeasing result for City given the amount of chances and possession his side had.
“It was a dissatisfying result for us.
“Olympic seemed quite happy to sit off and let us have the ball and hit us on the transition which I think we struggled with.
“We showed great character to come back from 2-1 down late on to get back in front, but it was very disappointing to give that lead up in the last few minutes.
Costa said the side would take the point to keep their undefeated start to the season alive, but noted that draws don’t win championships.
“Without a doubt we would have preferred all three points and I personally think we deserved to based on the chances created and the balance of play.
“Of course there is a little silver lining there that we are still undefeated which is a positive, however if we want to win championships, which we do, we have to win games like these.”
Costa opened the scoring in the first minute with an easy finish, after a cross came in from the right that was not dealt with by the Olympic defence.
Channelling the traits of a classic number 9, Costa backed into his defender and used his body to get around him, leaving him with nothing to do but put the ball in the back of the net.
Nic Bucco and Tom Love began dictating the play early on from deep lying roles in a double pivot, linking defence into attack and stopping Olympic from getting too far outside of their own half.
That changed when the home side got the ball out to Brennan on the left, who put his stamp on the game and turned the narrative on its head.
The winger brought the scores back level on 14 minutes as he was found with acres of space inside the box and curled his shot past veteran ‘keeper Gino De Lucia into the far post.
Two minutes later, Brennan had given Olympic an unexpected lead as he ghosted in at the back post to volley home a Jairus Wyten free kick, capping off an impressive first half display.
City Coach Damien Mori made a change at half time which saw Shane Tobias replace Love, allowing Bucco to impact the game further up the pitch as Tobias sat in front of the back four.
This would help the visitor’s fortunes as they begun to create more in front of goal.
Costa was given plenty of chances to add a second to his name but was unable to finish past De Lucia who made some outstanding saves to protect his sides lead.
There was not much that De Lucia could do once City’s equalizer eventually came, as Allwright placed his shot perfectly into the top corner and out of the ‘keepers reach.
Costa grabbed his second to cap off the remarkable come-back when he was picked out at the back post by Nikola Milesunic, and it looked like City would hold on to maintain their perfect start to 2016 season.
But Erba would have none of that, as he got his free kick over the wall and into the near post to spark wild celebrations from Olympic on the touchline.
Written by Brendan Simpkins - @RealSimpkins