Blues trapped in lair of tiger

A CHRIS Payne double has helped APIA Leichhardt Tigers claim bragging rights with a 3-1 win in the grand final rematch against Sydney Olympic at Lambert Park on Sunday.

The Tigers opened the scoring thanks to a well taken finish from Paul Galimi late in the first half.
Olympic had the best of the early chances after breaking quickly down the left; the ball running for Alejandro Sanchez on the edge of the area only for the shot to go whistling past the post and into the side netting.
APIA were less of a direct threat to the scoreboard in the opening stages of the game, barely testing Paul Henderson in the first half hour.
But it was Payne who scored a quick double in the first 10 minutes of the second half that put the home side well and truly in the driver’s seat.
At 3-0, Olympic would have rightly felt the score was an unfair reflection of the game as it was played.
However, Jinya An pulled one back for Olympic with half an hour to play.
Peter Kekeris and Jinya An worked hard for Olympic as they chased the game, and combined well on the hour mark to give their side a lifeline.
Kekeris took down an overhit cross on the left wing and whipped a mean ball towards the far post for An to tap past Ivan Necevski in the APIA goal.
Kekeris very nearly carved out a second for the visitors as the final whistle approached, but a poor finish from Harris Gaitatzis ensured APIA would hold on for a deserved win.
Olympic boss Abbas Saad will hope his side can improve over the week as Olympic prepare to take on Marconi Stallions in a season-defining clash at Belmore Sports Ground next Sunday.