Bankstown City put a dent in Sydney Olympic’s semi final hopes with a 2-1 win
in a very good TeleChoice Premier League tussle at Jensen Park.

Both sides showed why they are highly rated this year and the quality and
determination showed was great however there was a surprisingly dissapointing
crowd on hand to witness the important match.

Olympic were buoyed by favourable results attained by Sutherland and Marconi
the night before so the loss was not a disaster by any means.  Olympic are now
two points behind 5th placed Sutherland Sharks and they look to be the realistic
target that Olympic must run down in order to be part of the money-end of the

Nick Thedorakopoulos was dealt two cruel blows in his selection process when
both Emmanuel flank defenders were unavailable – Giannaros was out as he hadn’t
trained all week while suffering the flu and Zunino was out injured.  This
forced a reshuffle with Adam Biddle slotted into right back and youngster Jerry
Kalouris making his Premier League debut at left back. 

Biddle did have a torrid time in dealing with the speedy Hussein Salameh and
Robbie Mileski, while on the other side Kalouris had a pretty impressive game

Bankstown opened up early with clear intentions of seizing early control. 
The first four minutes saw Olympic virtually camped in their own half and
compressing their defence.  As early as the fourth minute the home side forced
Mark Bosnich into a save off a well hit Daniel Severino free kick that went in
low and hard.

Whereas Biddle in defence was found understandably wanting, his attacking
raids did spark some concerns in the home side’s defence.  A run off the right
wing in the 8th minute ended up being halted by a chop from the Bankstown tall
timber just outside the box.  Chris Triantis hit the resulting free kick but
Bankstown custodian Zlatko Joseski held well.

Triantis delivered a delicate chip to Tolgay Ozbey behind the Bankstown
defence and his first time shot was on target but deflected past Joseski’s right
post in what was a very close call for the home side in the 14th.

Two minutes later Mikeski botched a big opportunity to send his side one-nil
up.  He received the ball in a central position with only Bosnich to beat but
the shot was scooped over the bar.

Referee Kristian Griffith-Jones had his work cut out for him as the tackles
from both sides went flying.  Bankstown were the more heavier users of the
chopping block and three quick fire hard tackles on Anthony Doumanis and Chris
Triantis in the 18th showed that the nippy ball players were giving their
opponents headaches.

Mileski too got stuck into Matthew Mayora in the 27th that earned him a
yellow card.  Ozbey had earlier missed a decent chance when breaking away in the
24th but the home defence put a stop to Tolly’s run.

In the 29th Mayora went up for a high ball aimed into the Bankstown penalty
area.  Joseski rose too and was challenged by Mayora, and Joseski finished off
second best.  Griffith-Jones gave Mayora a harsly judged yellow card. Three
minutes later a Sydney Olympic corner was floated into the box and Joseski saved
but fell heavily which made his injury worse.

Olympic had a double chance in the 40th after Ken Chun’s speedy run put him
in the clear before the home side closed the chance and Triantis picked up the
scraps with a slalom run into the box but the last pass was picked up by the
struggling Joseski.  It looked that Joseski would not be able to continue, such
was the obvious signs of his injury via a blatant limp.

Joseski’s counterpart Bosnich had a scare in the 41st.  Severino hit an
audacious free kick from near the half way mark as he had spotted Bosnich well
off his line.  The free kick was fired towards the top right corner and Bozza
guaged what he had to do and flapped the ball around the top of his left post
for a corner.

The very good first half display continued into the second stanza.  Bosnich
was called upon to make another big save just two minutes into the half. 
Salameh was on the end of a pin point cross from Mileski and the shot forced
Bosnich to save down to his right.

Olympic’s biggest chance to break the deadlock came two minutes later.  Ozbey
latched onto a great pass that saw him with no one in front of him bar Joseski. 
Ozbey sped towards the goal but his last touch allowed Joseski to gratefully
grasp the loose ball and the chance had passed.

Ozbey was chopped by Bankstown in the 51st and the resulting free kick from
Triantis nearly found the head of Michael Cindric but the ball was a bit too
high for the tall defender.

In the 55th minute the home side took the lead in somewhat comical
circumstances.  Bankstown had a corner and Olympic simply failed to clear the
ball properly.  There were four failed attempts to get rid of the ball from the
danger zone and the final attempt found Brett Studman who blasted from outside
the box past the gathering of players in the area, leaving Bosnich with not much
hope of seeing the shot come in.

Four minutes later Mayora shot from close range but the jaded Joseski parried
the ball for a corner.  Cindric rose high but his header went just wide off the
Triantis corner.

Mayora came even closer on the hour mark when his turn-and-volley saw the
ball scoot over the bar in what was a crisply hit shot.

Bankstown extended their lead in the 66th in controversy.  Mileski was metres
offside when he picked up the ball on the right wing.  The referee’s assistant
operating on the line close to Mileski was at least three metres behind the play
and failed to see the offside.  Mileski ran towards the by-line and cut back a
well hit cross that found Mirko Jurilj and he turned the ball into his own net
despite a last ditch effort to stop the goal from happening, but the ball was
out of his reach.

The second goal lifted Bankstown immensely and it looked like they were on a
rampage to get a third.  Olympic balanced up though and did pull one back in a
spectacular goal by Triantis with eighteen minutes remaining.  The midfielder
received the ball from the left and from his central position he lined up a
powerful drive that took a slight deflection from an opponent before sizzling
into the top left corner leaving Joseski to catch air in his save.

Just as the hope of the Olympic supporters had been lifted, the task for
Olympic became very hard just six minutes after the pull-back goal.  Mayora’s
rash challenge earned him a second yellow card and a suspension for the game
against Sydney United.

Five before full time spelt a chance that had 3-1 written all over it for
Bankstown.  Mileski’s point blank shot should have been the sealer but Bosnich
amazingly got a hand to the ball and directed it out for a corner.  The
Bankstown side had done enough as the minutes ticked by.

Four minutes of stoppage time was played and the result was confirmed. 
Bankstown now are only two points behind league leader Sydney United while
Olympic continue to walk the semi finals tightrope.

The league takes a break for the Tiger Turf Cup semi finals, but there is no
rest for Olympic as the super friendly with Sydney FC takes centre stage next

BANKSTOWN CITY 2 (Studman 55′ Jurilj og 66′)
defeated SYDNEY OLYMPIC 1 (Triantis 72′) at Jensen Park,

SYDNEY OLYMPIC: Mark Bosnich, Jerry Kalouris, Mirko Jurilj, Adam
Biddle, Michael Cindric, Peter McPherson (89′ Paul Wither), Anthony Doumanis
(59′ Anthony Hartshorn), Ken Chun (83′ Iain Ramsay), Chris Triantis, Tolgay
Ozbey, Matthew Mayora

Courtesy Sydney Olympic website