Redlands Deal Olympic Cup Upset

Redlands United eliminated NPL Queensland league leaders Olympic FC from the Westfield FFA Cup with a stunning 2-0 upset at Cleveland Showgrounds on Wednesday night.

Redlands struck twice in the first half via Igor Sao Jose and Graham Fyfe in a result that turned recent league form on its head in classic knock-out fashion.

The result marks the Red Devils’ first competitive win of 2015 following an indifferent start to their league campaign. They are joined by NPL Queensland rivals Brisbane Strikers and Moreton Bay United in the next round of Brisbane Zone Qualifying.

Redlands started brightly, dominating early possession and creating a handful of half chances.

The hosts made the breakthrough just prior to the half hour when Sao Jose turned the ball home at the second bite amidst a goal-mouth scramble after being intially played in by Lyndon Dykes.

The Red Devils doubled that advantage only five minutes later as Fyfe delivered a well-placed finish into the bottom corner from inside the 18-yard box.

Olympic saw a goal disallowed for offside but were offered a chance to pull a goal back from the penalty spot soon after.

However, Redlands goalkeeper Brendan White delivered a stunning low save to his right to deny Olympic captain Danny Byrne’s strike.

White again frustrated Olympic prior to half-time with another telling save from Michael Lee’s attempt before Tim Smits sent a follow-up wide of the goal.

The hosts sought to hold their lead and frustrate Olympic after the restart as goal-scoring chances proved harder to come by in the early part of the second stanza.

Smits saw a pair of chances for Olympic with a quarter hour remaining – sending the first wide of the target before forcing another crucial save from White.

The visitors pushed until the end but found no way past the Redlands gloveman, who delivered another stop to keep out Scott Bow in the final minutes.

The result marks an early exit for Olympic after a high-profile run in last year’s inaugural Westfield FFA Cup that saw them eliminate Victorian powerhouse Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32.

Speaking post-match, Redlands player-coach Graham Fyfe highlighted key performances of many in the team.

“All the boys were really excited. To get away from the league was good for us because we’ve had some disappointing results,” he said.

Olympic defender Matt Byrne made no excuses for the result which he described as “disappointing”.

“We had a slow start and that pretty much cost us the match. They were the faster side of the two and they were all over us in the first twenty minutes to be honest,” he conceded.

Redlands 2 (Igor Sao Jose, Graham Fyfe) v Olympic 0