Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zebras consolidate their third place with win over Olympia

Photos (Top to Bottom): Olympia's injured striker Kosta Grillas enjoys a pie before the game while surrounded by fans; Referee Craig Phillips conducts the toss with the two captains, Olympia's Ben Phillips (left), his nephew, and Zebras' Andrew Telega; The two teams prepare to shake hands before the match; Olympia in a huddle before kick-off; Zebras discuss the line of attack before kick-off; Zebras' Jayden Welch dribbles out of defence; Olympia's Warren Wadawu in possession; Olympia's Mark Wakefield moves in on Zebras' Matt Hall; Olympia's Warren Wadawu lofts the ball forward; The Zebras defence under pressure; Olympia goalkeeper Dmitri Nester saves Dwayne Walch's free-kick; Zebras' Matt Hall with the ball; Chris Kumpulainen puts Olympia ahead; Olympia's Chris Kumpulainen takes on Zebras' Andrew Telega; Ben Crosswell has scored the first penalty for Zebras; Ben Crosswell gets a pass away in midfield ahead of Olympia's Ben Phillips; Crosswell scores his second penalty to make it 5-1 for Zebras; Zebras' Kurt Engels tackles Olympia's Brady Cronk [PlessPix]

Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (South Hobart, Saturday, 24 April 2010)


Tilford Zebras 5 (R Self 33, B Crosswell 45 pen, 77, 90 pen, L Engels 65)

Olympia Warriors 1 (C Kumpulainen 16)

HT: 2-1 Att: 130 Ref: C Phillips

Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Muller (Cox 63), Telega, Smith, K Engels - L Engels (Young 76), Self, Hall, Welch - Walsh, Crosswell [Substitutes not used: Cairns, Voss] [Coach: Romeo Frediani]

Olympia Warriors: Nester - Mohamad (Assi 63), A Hedge, McCallum, Percy - Meredith (Howell 80), Wakefield, Phillips, Kumpulainen (Mason 45+2) - Cronk, Wadawu [Substitute not used: Kay] [Coach: Chris Hey]


This was a game switched from KGV Park to South Hobart, but it didn’t ultimately affect the Zebras’ performance.

After Luke Engels had fired a shot straight at Olympia goalkeeper Dmitri Nester following Jayden Welch’s corner in the 2nd minute, they were on the back foot for the next 20 minutes as Olympia sought to take the lead.

They did just that in the 16th minute when Warren Wadawu played a ball forward and Chris Kumpulainen beat defender Jordan Muller and goalkeeper Troy Kaden before slotting the ball home into an empty net.

This initial success promised much, but poor defending was to be Olympia’s undoing.

Ricky Self put a shot just over the Olympia bar in the 29th minute and it was clear that the tide was already turning against the Warriors.

Zebras were level in the 33rd minute with a simple but effective attack, begun by captain and centre-back Andrew Telega, who swept the ball wide to the left for Welch to expose Olympia’s right flank.

He had an unimpeded run down the left and his low cross to the far side of the box found Self, who was unmarked and hammered home from 15 metres.

Zebras almost had another in the 39th minute when Ben Crosswell broke down the left and crossed the ball low and hard into the middle, but Matt Hall could not keep his shot down and the ball cleared the crossbar.

Crosswell and Dwayne Walsh, nominally the Zebras; two strikers, were dropping deep and proving very mobile and this often left the Olympia defence chasing shadows.

Olympia suffered a blow in the 43rd minute when Kumpulainen landed awkwardly after challenging Ryan Smith for a header and was carried off with ankle ligament damage.

It took Olympia four minutes to bring on substitute Lee Mason and, in that time, Zebras went further ahead when Nick Meredith pulled Luke Engels’s shirt and conceded a penalty, which was easily despatched by Crosswell to give Zebras a 2-1 lead at the interval.

Olympia came out firing for the second half and should have been level in the 48th minute when a delightful through-ball by Meredith put Wadawu in with only the keeper to beat, but the Zimbabwean chose to chip the ball and it looped harmlessly over the crossbar.

Olympia’s tempers were fraying and Youssef Mohamad was booked in the 50th minute for a foul on Crosswell.

Seven minutes later, it was tit for tat as Smith received a yellow card for fouling Wadawu, who required treatment.

Olympia squandered another good chance in the 58th minute. Luke Engels failed to control a cross inside his own penalty area and the ball fell to Meredith, who shot over the bar.

A minute later, Meredith fired wide from a good opening, while on the hour, Lee Mason appeared certain to score, but his shot was superbly saved by Kaden, who conceded what proved to be a fruitless corner.

That was four excellent chances to score in the space of 12 minutes, which could have given Olympia a 5-2 lead.

Having squandered the opportunities, it was no surprise that Zebras took theirs. In the 65th minute, an error at the back by Adam Hedge gave the ball to Luke Engels, who, looking up and seeing Nester off his line, scored with a great chip that dipped under the crossbar and gave Zebras a 3-1 advantage.

In the 77th minute, Crosswell was given time and space by a flat-footed Olympia defence to collect Walsh’s chipped pass and shoot past Nester from close range to make it 4-1.

In the 85th minute, Smith was deceived by a bouncing ball and Brady Cronk was gifted an opportunity, but his shot lacked power and Kaden was able to get down and save with his outstretched leg.

Smith was injured in going for the ball and was taken off on a stretcher. Surprisingly, Zebras did not bring on their remaining out-field substitute, Paul Cairns and played out the remaining time - which proved to be 10 minutes - with 10 men.

Cairns had, apparently, left early and coach Remeo Frediani decided not to use substitute goalkeeper Jason Voss as an out-field player. Against a better side than Olympia, this might have been costly.

Frediani’s confidence was proved correct, however, as his side scored again before the end.

In the last minute of normal time, Rory McCallum fouled Kurt Engels inside the box and Crosswell netted his second penalty of the game to complete his hat-trick and give Zebras a 5-1 win over their traditional rivals.

It is crunch time for Olympia. This game completed their first-round program of seven matches in what is their 50th anniversary season and they have just one point to show for it.

They have 14 matches left and had better start picking up points soon.

The win kept Zebras in third place, two points adrift of leaders South Hobart and one point behind second-placed Glenorchy Knights.


· Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:

“The first 20 minutes they were all over us, really, but after that we picked it up and obviously got the two goals back before half-time.

“The second half was much better. We knocked it around and Crosswell was very good up front again.

“We knocked the ball around and I’m happy with the three points.”

· Olympia Warriors coach, Chris Hey, said:

“In the first half, for the first 25 minutes, I thought we played well.

“As soon as they scored, our heads went down and, to be quite honest, the second half was an absolute disgrace.

“We played as individuals, heads down and not really giving a damn with the way we were supposed to be playing.

“We had some good chances, but we’ve got to put them away. When the chips are down, you’ve got to learn how to fight and, what I saw from that team out there in the last 20 minutes, it was very disappointing.

“There was no leadership. There were just eleven individual players running around doing individual things.

“We’re a far better team than that. The last three games that we’ve played, we’ve played some really good football. We’ve missed heaps of opportunities, heaps of chances, and we’ve got to learn to put them away.

“But, that last 20 minutes was disgraceful.”


Anonymous said...

Olympia were on top in the first 20 - 25 minutes of each half in this game.

They conceded penalties in 45th and 90th minutes.

This suggests that the players are not mentally and/or physically prepared to win 90+ minute games.

EVERY Olympia player (including those currently registered but not training/playing) must decide whether they are prepared to allow this proud Club to languish in its 50th year and potentially succumb to relegation.

EVERY Olympia player must take responsibility for the next 4 MONTHS and put self aside.


Anonymous said...

not leaders Mr Hay says then maybe he will have to re-think his young captain then . Also intersting last years coach was asked to get results but any meens posible buy the same people who now defend the worst start in 5 years ?

Delta said...

zebras still conceding goals far to easily. great in attack but not very solid at the back. could be a close season if they beat south next weekend...

Anonymous said...

what is the coach of olympic thinking asking players to look up to a 16 year old kid to lead them .hardly inspirational.

Anonymous said...

hard to drop your olympia captain especially when he was gaurenteed a game every week regardless of how well he plays .bench player at clarence at best .but good luck saw a chance.

Hardman said...

Give BP a break. He is sixteen and is possibly one of Olympia's standout performers this season. The reason Chris Hey gave him the captaincy was because he puts in the hard yards at training and works for the team. He would be a bench player at Clarence because unlike Olympia most other clubs don't reward the players that put in. I agree with Anonymous (11:03). Us players do need to look at ourselves and pick up our game. But I believe results will come. Another thing, I have heard in the woodworks that there are talks of not relegating a team this season. Can anyone confirm this?

Anonymous said...

Hugh Richardson is Capt of Olympia and Kosta Grillas is also in the leadership group. Ben is in the group as a representative of the younger players. It is a pity that Olympia have incurred so many injuries this season, including those to Kosta and Hugh that have resulted in Ben wearing the armband.

It doesn't really matter what Ben achieved last year as a 15 year old at Clarence but he is working as hard as anyone to help Olympia and I am sure isn't taking anything for granted this year.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Hugh Richardson as their captain?

Also, I would not be surprised about the relegation/promotion rumours. It is the incompetent FFT we're talking about. Why wouldn't they think changing a major rule like that mid-year would be a good idea? Particularly when they're unable to enforce their rules on half the Div 1 teams before a season starts instead!

Anonymous said...

Richardson is not their captain because he got sent off in reserves for two yellow cards last week!

Considering at least one of the cards was for dissent - good image he is presenting as club captain! hm...

go Olympia...for relegation.

Anonymous said...

Having a 16 year old as a capt of a mens soccer club is a joke, no wonder there is no leaderership showing at Olympia

it's all greek to me said...

Both clubs trying to develop talent for the future, but Zebras still have a fair bit of class still in their senior ranks whereas Olympia have less at this stage.