Friday, June 21, 2019

Conductor Tsakiris directs Olympia to easy Challenge League win over Zebras

Photo: Zebras' Sydney Reynolds thwarts Olympia's Kyle Vincent in goalmouth action [PlessPix] 

(Challenge League, KGV Park, Friday, 21 June 2019)

Hobart Zebras 0
Olympia Warriors 3 (Bilal Ait Maamar 9, 62, Kyle Vincent 52)

HT:  0-1   Att:  35   Ref:  A Cooke

Hobart Zebras:  Reid;  Ackerley, Bloomfirld, Botte, Clark, Jones, Plunkett-Smith, Reynolds, Rose, Smith, Stankovich  (Interchange:  Clapham, Ditton, Fraser, Wilson)

Olympia Warriors:  Murfitt;  Ait Maamar, Baddiley, Curtis, Herbert, Hills, Pacey-Mayne, Sloan, Tsakiris, Tuyishime, Vincent  (Interchange:  Boscoe, Hastie, Randall, Tilley)

Photo:  Olympia's Jacob Herbert, is blocked from the ball by a Zebras defender.  Herbert has returned to Olympia after a period with Glenorchy Knights. [PlessPix]

Olympia Warriors wore black armbands in this match in remembrance of two of their club members who had passed away this week:  Irini Kalis, a teacher and former Miss Olympia, and daughter of late club president, John Kalis;  and Chris Syrginis, one of the founding players of Olympia and a star of Tasmanian football in the late 1950s and the 1960s.

With the excellent and ageless Chris Tsakiris directing operations in midfield, Olympia were in charge throughout the 90 minutes.  A personal trainer in his work, Tsakiris did not have to exert himself or sprint doing his work tonight.  He jogged about, waved his arms to direct play, and inspired his team-mates to greater effort.

Bilal Ait Maamar opened the scoring in the 9th minute.  He turned sharply just inside the box to shrug of a defender and placed his shot inside the right-hand post, past a diving Nathan Reid.

Photo:  Olympia's Ewan Sloan (left) gets in a cross despite the attentions of Zebras' Sydney Reynolds [PlessPix]

Olympia were using the width of the pitch well and their wingers regularly got behind the Zebras defence to cross the ball into the danger zone.

Zebras were finding it difficult to create any openings and their passing was often less than accurate.

Referee Alastair Cooke booked Olympia’s back-up goalkeeper Darby Randall before the half was over for remarks directed at assistant referee Adam Powell.

Olympia might have scored more than one goal in the opening half.  Reid did well to turn Sam Hills’s shot wide for a corner in the 39th minute, while 2 minutes later, Kyle Vincent picked out Tsakiris with a cross but he volleyed wide.

Photo:  Zebras' Jack Rose is too late to prevent Olympia's Chris Tsakiris  from crossing [PlessPix]

With 2 minutes of the half remaining, Vincent beat Reid to the ball and rounded the keeper, but Chase Clark came to the rescue and cleared.

Seven minutes after the resumption, Vincent beat Reid to a through-ball and rounded the keeper before stroking the ball into an empty net to give Olympia a 2-0 lead.

In the 62nd minute, Ait Maamar scored Olympia’s third with a terrific cross shot from the right that lodged inside the far left-hand post.

Ait Maamar was in search of a hat-trick and he went mighty close in the 64th minute when his low drive from the right flew narrowly wide of the far post.

Photo:  Olympia goalkeeper Angus Murfitt easily deals with a corner by Zebras' James Ackerley [PlessPix]

Zebras had no decent attempts at goal until 4 minutes before the end when James Ackerley was through on goal, but Olympia keeper Angus Murfitt, who had had little to do until then, blocked his shot.

Zebras were well beaten by the end their fitness must be questionable.  The evidence came with a few minutes of the game remaining.  Ackerley, clearly out of breath, gave up the chase when he was dispossessed by an Olympia defender, who took the ball upfield unchallenged to launch another attack.

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