Olympic FC head coach Ben Cahn said he couldn’t be prouder of his players after they fought back from a two-goal deficit to take a point in a 2-2 draw with Gold Coast United in trying conditions at Robina Station Reserve on Saturday night.
Two penalties from substitute Adam Edgar in the dying minutes kept the league leaders undefeated record in-tact after they trailed to goals from Connor Smith and Nicholas Panetta.
After a goal-less first half United took the lead early in the second stanza as Smith blasted a free-kick into the top corner from the edge of the area.
United’s lead was doubled in the 62nd minute when Smith put the ball on a platter at the back post for Panetta who made no mistake with the finish.
Ten minutes later United were reduced to 10-men when debutant Matt Green received his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Olympic midfielder Steve Whyte.
Olympic made their numerical advantage count, pulling one back in the 81st minute when Edgar converted from the penalty spot after United keeper Luka Zoric brought down Jack Glover inside the area.
With just a minute of regular time remaining Olympic found an equaliser again through Edgar from the penalty spot after Zoric fouled Shelford Dais inside the area.
Olympic almost found a winner in stoppage time as Jez Lofthouse skipped past several defenders and the keeper only to have his effort cleared off the line with the match finishing 2-2.
While admitting everyone involved in the squad was disappointed not to get all three points Olympic coach Ben Cahn said he was proud of the fight shown by his players.
“I’m incredibly pleased with the way the payers fought and managed to come away with a point.”
“I think once our first goal went in everybody connected with our team genuinely believed we were going to go on and win the game and I think another three or four minutes added to the game and we would’ve done,”
“Obviously they were down to 10 at that point but it was relentless pressure, the belief in the group is very, very strong and we kept pushing.”
Olympic were unable to implement their usual passing game in Saturday’s match with the game being played on a very soggy and slow pitch at Robina Station Reserve.
Cahn called into question the suitability of the venue for Saturday’s match.
“It’s questionable whether or not the game should’ve been allowed to be played.”
“I understand there were important women’s and youth games on before us but maybe after the women’s game the referees could’ve looked at the pitch and said that’s probably not suitable to host another game, It’s quite dangerous.”
“The whole day was quite difficult, it resembled more of a Sunday league game than a national second division game.”
“From our perspective we’ve got to be prepared to deal with different circumstances and find a way and in the end we did find a way to come away with something.”
Despite failing to take all three points Olympic maintain their three-point lead at the top of the NPL Queensland standings ahead of next weekend’s home clash with Cairns FC.
National Premier Leagues Queensland – Round Six
Saturday, March 10
Robina Station Reserve
Gold Coast United – 2 (Connor SMITH 50’, Nicholas PANETTA 62’)
Olympic FC – 2 (Adam EDGAR 81’ 89’)
Olympic FC team: 1. Nicholas MOONEY, 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Kristen WATERS, 5. Steve WHYTE, 6. Matt MUNDY, 7. Shelford DAIS, 8. Kazuya ITO (2. Jack GLOVER 77’), 9. Danny BYRNE (12. Costa PSAROS 59’), 10. Kieran SANDERS, 11. Jez LOFTHOUSE, 20. Zelfy NAZARY (18. Adam EDGAR 71’)
Unused subs: 16. Charles SLANEY, 21. Dakota SPRANGE