Olympic win third straight in late drama

By Matt Nicoletti

FFA Centre of Excellence 2 (Jacob Italiano 19’, Melad Ahmad 39’) def. by Canberra Olympic Football Club 3 (Stephen Domenici 32’, 90+3’, Robbie Cattanach 73’)

Canberra Olympic claimed their third straight win of the season on Saturday as a last-gasp penalty saw them defeat the Centre of Excellence 3-2 at the AIS. 

Stephen Domenici’s brace and Robbie Cattanach’s late drive were enough to overcome Jacob Italiano and Melad Ahmad’s first half-goals in an entertaining encounter at the AIS. 

The Centre of Excellence started strongly and dominated the play early, forcing the visitors to try and pick them apart on the counter.

After a number of gilt-edged chances, the home side went ahead in the 17th minute as Jacob Italiano beautifully lobbed Angelo Konstantinou in the Olympic goal to leave the visitors reeling.

But Olympic hit back just over ten minutes later as Jeremy Habtemariam was fouled in the box, and Domenici stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.

But the youngsters were not done, and continued to pour forward and pressure the Olympic back-line. That paid off in the 37th minute, as a brilliant set-piece found Ahmad at the back post to head home almost unmarked and restore the advantage heading into the break

The visitors came out of half-time looking to establish themselves more, and the contest involved into an end-to-end affair as both sides looked for chances. 

Cattanach found the equaliser for Olympic with 18 minutes remaining, as he fired a low shot from range towards goal, which Matthew Sutton could only get fingertips too as it fizzed into the bottom corner.

With Olympic still pushing hard, they were dealt a blow with ten minutes left as defender Nathan Megic was sent off for his second yellow card, but the visitors continued to press despite the man disadvantage.

Cattanach made headway into the box in the dying minutes and was brought down as he went one-on-one with Sutton to earn a penalty and see the goalkeeper sent off.

Domenici stepped up to calmly slot his second from the spot and hand the Centre of Excellence their first loss of the 2017 season.


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