Saturday, 16 May 2009

Canberra Olympic 5
25′, 42′, 53′, 78′, 81′

Narrabundah FC 1
Dziubinski 85′

It proved to be another disastrous day for Narrabundah, who despite a much improved showing from the previous couple of weeks, were punished by a young but clinical Olympic side.

As the match kicked off, it was Narrabundah who started the brightest, once again knocking the ball around well and within the first 5 minutes, without Olympic having had a kick, Kael Da Costa was marauding down the right hand side and in behind the defense, only for his cut back to be intercepted. Narrabundah continued to have the better of the running with Todoroski, Dziubinski, Ellis and Romero all receiving the ball in behind the defense only to hesitate or shoot tamely.

But then came the sucker punch. After another Olympic foray had come to nothing, Narrabundah looked to push forward quickly when a wayward pass found an Olympic player 30m from goal. Ambitiously, he took 1 touch and shot, the ball took a fortuitous touch off a defender and flew into the bottom corner past Pena in goals. 1-0 and Olympic had an ill-deserved lead.

Narrabundah however continued to press with Ibaceta, Gonzalez, Romero, Ellis and later Park and Dziubinski dominating the midfield, Olympic were resorting to long balls and clearances to relieve pressure as Narrabundah continued to shut down the middle of the park. Despite bossing the game though, Narrabundah were failing to create clear cut opportunities as final balls continued to go astray in the final 3rd.

Just as the half was winding down, Olympic scored the goal that would take the wind out of Narrabundah’s sails. Another loose ball at the back was cut out on the half way line with the Narrabundah defense caught high. A quick ball through the defense set away the lanky Olympic striker who raced past the Narrabundah defenders at a canter and chipped over the stranded Pena. 2-0 down and Narrabundah were deflated.

Although the talk in the Narrabundah camp was positive at half time, the second half was considerably worse than the first from Narrabundah’s perspective with the 3rd goal setting the pace for the remainder of the match. Early in the half, an Olympic counter attack looked to have broken down with the Narrabundah defense back in numbers and an Olympic player with the ball on the by-line with little support. However a rash missed tackle and a lack of spatial awareness allowed the Olympic striker to stroll past his defender on the by-line and roll a bobbling pass to a team mate who had found space between three Narrabundah defenders, two meters out from goal. From that range, even his scuffed shot was good enough to beat Pena in goals.

Narrabundah heads dropped and despite Olympic taking the best part of the half to find the net again, Narrabundah’s influence on the match waned significantly from that point on. Narrabundah were also lucky not to have a couple of players sent off for some niggly and silly fouls in what was otherwise a very well tempered match, despite the lack of Capital Football Officials. Olympic managed to score two more from quick breaks, one from the penalty spot, before a ball over the top found Dziubinski in space for him to race through to score Narrabundah’s consolation goal.

A massively disappointing result for Narrabundah who will be especially hurt by the fact that they won’t feel they were outplayed in this match. There was however a stark difference in the defenses and attacks of the two teams that will cause concern. Olympic managed to score five past a Narrabundah defense that was never put under sustained pressure whilst Narrabundah were unable to create clear goal scoring opportunities despite bossing the midfield, particularly in the first half. A tough couple of weeks for the young Narrabundah side and it won’t get any easier with last years minor premiers ANU coming up this weekend. If Narrabundah are to play their way back into form, they will need to do it the hard way.