Slice of Cheese

Warriors Open Up With Big Win

Pless Pix

Olympia opened their account for the 2018 NPL TAS season in style with a big 5-2 win over the Northern Rangers as Warren Wadawu hit a hat-trick.

As the final whistle blew, George Mamacas’ famous catch cry “May the best team win, and may that team be Olympia” drifted across Warrior Park and this very much reflected the final result.

At the beginning of the game both teams took some time to settle in. The ball was bouncing from end to end and it took a 9th minute goal from Warren Wadawu for the game to open up as he slid one home between the keepers’ legs.

After this goal Olympia began creating chances and their pass and move style of play became evident. Joffery Nkoso and Hugh Undy were causing plenty of headaches for the Rangers midfield, whom continued to push forward.

The talented Rangers midfield duo of Jesse Fulton and Federico Colainni combined well to open up opportunities in the centre of the park. This hard work came to fruition when Colainni got on the end of a Fulton through ball, only to have his shot saved before the rebound was coolly finished by Adhar Ngor.

The levelled scoreline brought hope to the Rangers, however a goal from Hugh Undy minutes later dampened the Rangers spirits, with the score going into half time Olympia 2, Rangers 1.

The Second Half began with attacks from both sides, including a shot just wide by Patrick Lanau-Atkinson for the Rangers. However, Olympia’s press and quick movement paved the way for Wadawu’s second goal, with the number 7 curling his shot into the top corner of the net.

The Rangers did not give up, continuing to attack, with a near miss coming from the right hand side. Olympia’s Zak Eadle then scored his first goal of the season, before Warren Wadawu completed his hat-trick with a deft chip over the keeper.

A 90th minute penalty gave the Rangers a consolation goal, but at full time the Warriors ran out 5-2 winners.

Speaking after the game, Olympia Manager Dale Itchins was disappointed in the number of missed opportunities for Olympia, having almost 20 shots, only 6 of which were on target. He believed Mark Ortmann was a standout performer, whilst Paul Stevens and Alexander Holmes were solid in the back.

Rangers Manger Lino Sciulli was happy with the effort his team put in, however believed his team was a bit unfit due to the lack of playing top quality opposition in pre-season. Sciulli believed that the teams based in the South of the State were at an advantage due to the organisation of their Summer fixtures, in comparison to those in the North, suggesting an improved Summer Series Competition next year.

He identified Alex Faulkner, Adhar Ngor and Federico Colaianni as standout performers, with Will Humphrey gaining a mention for his hardwork across the park.

The 2018 NPL continues next week, with Olympia facing a massive game against the Devonport Strikers whilst it won’t get any easy for Rangers as they meet Hobart Zebras.

Student, lover of Melbourne Victory, the Richmond Tigers and all things sport