Olympic FC have returned to the summit of NPL Queensland standings courtesy of a 2-1 win over North Queensland United at Brolga Park on Saturday night.
A Kazuya Ito strike and an own goal early on were enough to seal the points for the visitors who remain undefeated on the road this season.
Ito opened the scoring in the 8th minute when he picked up a stray ball inside the area and left United keeper Daniel Wilesmith with no chance with a driven effort from a tight angle.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure and doubled their lead in the 21st minute when the ball ricocheted off United defender Jae Eurell and into the back of the net after Wilsesmith could only parry Lofthouse’s initial effort.
United pulled one back on the stroke of half time when Theo Nicopoulos headed home from a Eurell corner, however, the hosts were unable to add to the scoring in the second half as Olympic held on for a 2-1 win.
The win sees Olympic climb above Western Pride who lost to Brisbane City on Saturday night and into top spot on the NPL Queensland ladder.
Speaking post-match, Olympic FC head coach Ben Cahn hailed the resilient nature of his sides performance.
“After the first couple of minutes I thought it might’ve been a bit more comfortable than it was in the end, but credit to North Queensland they made a real fight of it.”
“We were really resilient in how we defended, I don’t think we were under too much threat but I would’ve been happier if we’d gone on and scored a couple more and made the most of our early possession.”
Despite his side moving two-points clear of Western Pride at the top of the standings Cahn played down the significance of the league table at this point in the season.
“We just take each game as it comes, we don’t look too much at the league table even at this stage.”
“We’re only half way through now so we’ll just keep concentrating on what we’re doing and see where that leaves us.”
Cahn was full of praise for his current crop of players and stressed the importance of managing his squad ahead of the second half of the season and FFA Cup assualt.
“We’ve got a really strong squad, we’ve still got room for one or two more to come in and we’ll be looking to do that in the next couple of weeks just to freshen things up and give us some new options.”
“But what we’ve got at the moment is in my opinion as strong as any other club in the league, we just need to keep everybody fit, everybody confident to make sure that we go on another run now.”
Olympic’s focus now turns to next Saturday’s home clash against eleventh placed Magpies Crusaders United.
NPL Queensland – Round Thirteen
Saturday, May 12
Brolga Park, Townsville
North Queensland United – 1 (Theo NICOPOULOS 45’)
Olympic FC – 2 (Kazuya ITO 8’, OWN GOAL 21’)
Olympic FC team: 1. Nicholas MOONEY, 4. Kristen WATERS, 6. Matt MUNDY (2. Jack GLOVER 84’), 7. Shelford DAIS, 8. Kazuya ITO, 9. Danny BYRNE (12. Costa PSAROS 70’), 10. Kieran SANDERS, 11. Jez LOFTHOUSE (18. Adam EDGAR 76’), 14. James Cuminao, 19. Jean-Philippe LASM, 20. Zelfy NAZARY.
Unused Subs: 5. Steve WHYTE, 21. Dakota SPRANGE