Hard fought thriller win

AN 11th minute Jason Madonis penalty was all it took as Sydney Olympic clung on for a hard fought win against rivals Rockdale City Suns in a physical clash at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday.

The win was Olympic’s first win against Rockdale since 2015 and catapults the reigning premiers into the top five for the first time since the opening weeks of the season.
Madonis was clinical from the penalty spot early in the contest to give the home team a lead they would be forced to defend for more than 80 minutes in what was a torrid and chippy encounter.
For Rockdale. the loss is another heartbreaking result and is sure to heap more pressure on interim boss Nick Porecca.
There was plenty of action between the two sides from the get-go, with the first goal coming just 11 minutes into the match.
Rockdale’s Nic Petrillo brought down Olympic’s Peter Kekeris in the box, leaving Referee Ben Abraham with no choice but to award a penalty.
Madonis stepped up to the spot and sent his shot out of reach of Rockdale custodian David Bradasevic to take the lead for the home side early in the game.
The visitors certainly didn’t let the goal against them get them down, fighting hard in their efforts to find an equaliser, but Olympic stayed robust in defence to keep Rockdale at bay and hit the sheds with a one-goal advantage.
Both teams came back from the break firing on all cylinders, with an already physical game turning into an all-in scuffle after a late tackle from Matthew Lecce saw Nikola Kuleski curled on the ground in pain.
Rockdale looked poised for an equaliser in the final minutes as they continued to mount pressure on their opposition, but Olympic rallied to maintain their advantage and take all three points from the match.
Olympic coach Abbas Saad was pleased with his team’s effort to secure the win.
“We wanted to make a statement and not concede,” he said.
“We knew it was going to be a battle … it’s a derby.
“Credit to them, they came at us in the second half.
“Defensively we were fantastic … probably the best we’ve played all season.”