Olympic Pre-Season Back On Track
Words: Michael Flynn
Olympic FC made the perfect start to their Macron Cup pre-season title defence by accounting for Gold Coast City 6-1 on Saturday at A.J.Kelly Park.
Youeil Shol delivered a second-half hat-trick for Olympic however the win was effectively sealed prior courtesy of a brace to Sam Cronin and further goal to Scott Bow.
The win marks the first win this pre-season for Olympic and is a first pre-season defeat for City, who fielded a side comprising predominantly youth players.
Olympic started brightly with Danny Byrne and Ryan Roderick both threatening early while City also failed to make the most of their early sights on goal.
The breakthrough came shortly after the quarter hour when Cronin turned the ball in at the back post after being picked out by a lobbed pass from Byrne.
The midfielder then doubled his tally – and his side’s advantage – minutes later by opportunistically pouncing on a fumbled intervention from City goalkeeper Lucas Chicco.
Olympic remained largely untroubled until break but after the restart received a wake-up call as Riley Thomson-King saw his attempt denied by the post.
However, they soon regained their momentum and just prior to the hour all but sealed the win when Bow delivering a stunning 30 yard drive that nestled into the top corner of the goal.
The scoreline ballooned further in Olympic's favour midway through the half a rampaging Shol secured a hat-trick in the space of only 12 minutes.
After sliding home a finish to open his account, he then showed a clean set of heels to get in behind City’s defences from a Bow throughball shortly after– staying composed to round Chicco and convert the chance.
Shol iced his performance with a clever run from the edge of the box that saw him evade several City defenders before delivering another assured finish.
City’s only consolation game late in the piece when Tim Jackson bettered Brandon Cuminao to a cross to bundle the ball across the line.
Olympic are yet to confirm any members of their squad for the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues season but amongst the triallists was former Brisbane City 2013 Grand Final goal scorer Daniel Sharov, as well as Spaniard, and former Club Atlético Osasuna player, Sergio Castel.
They continue their pre-season preparations against Brisbane Premier League outfit Mitchelton FC on Tuesday night in the BLK Silver Boot in Brisbane.
City also return to the BLK Silver Boot against fellow PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues club Brisbane City on Friday night.
Macron Cup 2016
Saturday, January 23
A.J.Kelly Park, Moreton Bay
Olympic FC 6 (Sam CRONIN 18’ 23’, Scott BOW 53’, Youeil SHOL 67’ 72’ 79’)
Gold Coast City FC 1 (Tim JACKSON 81’)