Late penalty drama breaks Olympic hearts

Sydney Olympic and the Sutherland Sharks left Belmore Sports Ground with a brace of late goals to share the win in a gripping 1-1 draw on a chilly Saturday evening.

Teng Kuol scored what looked like an electric winner in the 79e However, a minute before Olympic comes the 90+7e A minute later a penalty was called and former Olympic player Mitchell Stamatlis sent Noah James the wrong way to rescue a precious point for the Shire club.

In what was an extremely one-sided first half between Sydney Olympic and the Sutherland Sharks, the visitors spent most of the time on the back foot trying to put out everything the Blues threw at them.

In the 6e A minute later, Roy O’Donovan’s miss landed inches away from Abraham Majok, who ran for the ball only to miss the first chance on goal of the match.

Three minutes later, Majok attacked again, powerfully shaking off the opposition defense and delivering the ball to Oliver Puflett, who pulled off a strong solo run into the penalty area but ran out of space.

Sutherland’s best chance of the first half came in the boxe minute when Kotaro Katsuta made a dazzling run from just inside his own halfway line before handing the ball off to Matthew Moric, who was brought down just before he could fire his shot.

At the 37e Minutes in, Majok missed perhaps the clearest chance of the match, as he failed to score in front of an almost empty net.

While Sutherland almost put one on the board three minutes after the half-time whistle when the unsuspecting Noah James sprang into action as he punched away Jay McGowan’s lethal, low-driving shot.

The second half started with a bang through Katsuta. After the ball ended up outside the penalty area for the Japanese import, he cleared his effort with some ferocity as the ball flew over the top of the net mid-range.

On the 62NL Minute point Olympic created their first meaningful chance of the second half when Majok, with some pace behind him, crashed his chance into Sutherland’s stoic defense and Adam Parkhouse saw his follow-up effort cleared to safety.

Sharks custodian Nenad Vekic continued to keep Sutherland in the match as his outstretched hand kept away a cleverly placed shot from O’Donovan moments after Parkhouse’s effort.

But come the 79e minute, Olympic finally had their moment of reckoning when Teng Kuol took one touch before firing the ball into the bottom corner to open the scoring.

Labinot Haliti’s troops secured the three points, but this would change in the closing stages of the match.

In the 90+7e After a minute of extra time, the match took an unexpected turn when Stamatlis won a penalty in the penalty area and then sent James the wrong way as he claimed a huge point for his relegation-threatened side.

Sydney Olympic forward Michael Vakis expressed his frustrations after seeing his side lose the three points.

“We feel upset about the result,” Vakis told Football NSW.

“Especially in the second half we were all over it, but unfortunately that’s the story of our season so far. We shouldn’t have given away a penalty, but it’s something we can build on and learn from.”

“On the positive side, Teng Kuol was our goalscorer and he is someone with a very bright future in the game. Look at what his brothers have accomplished, and he’s also someone who is an absolute joy to play with. When he came on he changed the game for us.”

Match statistics

Olympic 1 Sydney (Teng Kuol 79′)

Sutherland Sharks 1 (Mitchell Stamatlis 90+7′)

Saturday June 15, 2024

Belmore sports ground, Belmore

Referee: Jake Rose

Assistant referees: Alessandro Llana and Blake Sanchez-Cruz

Fourth Official: Daniel Cornofsky

Olympic Sydney: 1.Noah James, 2.Peter Politis, (4.George Timotheou 90′), 5.Zygmunt Gordon, 6.Jack Simmons, 9.Oliver Puflett, (10.Darcy Burgess 62′) 11.Adam Parkhouse, (14. Michael Vakis 45′), 15.William Mutch, 17.Abraham Majok, (18.Teng Kuol 74′), 19.Gianni Di Pizio, 23.Jackson Bandiera, 99.Roy O’Donovan

Unused subtitles: 12.Zac Zoricich, 20.Christopher Parsons

Yellow cards: (Teng Kuol 95′)

Red cards: zero

Sutherland sharks: 1.Nenad Vekic, 2.Kotaro Katsuta, 4.Mitchell Stamatellis, 5.Takahide Umebachi, (6.Samuel Gulisano 74′), 8.Mohamed Ahmed, (9.Maxx Green 68′), 11.Jay McGowan, 15. Matthew Moric, 22.Jacob Garner, 23.Ethann Beaven, 27.Matthew Jackson, 77.Levi Sciuriaga

Unused subs: 3.Jordan Roberts, 14.Chris Lindsay, 30.Nathan Denham, 43.Ikko Ehode Arimoto

Yellow cards: (Mohamed Ahmed 61′)

Red cards: zero

Player Ratings:

3: Mitchell Stamatlis (SS)

2: Abraham Majok (SO)

1: Kotaro Katsuta (SS)

-By Tobias Canning