Olympic spring late goals to keep finals hopes alive


Olympic captain Danny Byrne evades Moreton Bay’s Alex Janovksy

Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

Two late goals to inspirational captain Danny Byrne has seen Olympic claim a 2-0 win over Moreton Bay Jets in a match that was devoid of clear-cut opportunities.

With both teams desperate to claim three points, Olympic came close to an opening goal almost 15 minutes in when a long range shot from Kazuya Ito was blocked by Jets’ keeper Matt Stein but the rebound fell straight into the path of Youeil Shol who with the second chance could only steer his opportunity wide and high of the upright.

Immediately at the other end, a cross was played in for Royce Brownlie and subsequently Alex Janovsky was involved who forced Nick Mooney into a fingertip save over the bar.

At the half hour mark, Taiga Ishikura had a Moreton Bay chance blocked by Matt Mundy from close range.

CIn the ten minutes before the halftime break, Olympic’s Liam O’Bryan saw an attempt saved by a diving Stein before the Jets went up the other end with Brownlie having the ball in the back of the net only to see it chalked off for a handball infringement in the lead-up.

On the stroke of halftime, Olympic fell asleep momentarily leaving Ishikura with space to operate in but sent the resulting shot to the right of the upright.

Jets had the first opportunity of the second half when a free kick played in for Matt Byrne into the path of Scott Stewart who attempted to steer a very low header goalward but the effort was too weak to cause any major concern.

Danny Byrne clattered a free kick into the crossbar that reverberated throughout the neighbouring suburb.

Collective breaths were held around the ground as Previtera committed Mooney off his line. From around 12 yards out, he sent a grassburner in towards the far post that seemed to take an eternity to roll and eventually shaved the outside of an empty net.

Ishikura looked the most likely player on the park to break the deadlock. With just over fifteen minutes remaining, he had an attempt from the edge of the box to chip Mooney who was slightly off his line but the keeper was able to get his outstretched hands to the ball.

With five minutes remaining, Danny Byrne sprung up to score the crucial winning goal and with tensions released, his Olympic teammates rushed to celebrate with him.

In injury time, Byrne made sure of the result collecting his fifth goal of the campaign.

Olympic sit two points off fourth placed Redlands while its desperation stakes for Moreton Bay to remain in the finals hunt, six points outside finals qualifying with just four rounds to play.

Moreton Bay 0 v Olympic 2 (Danny Byrne 85’, 90+’)

Moreton Bay: Matt Stein, Scott Stewart, Matt Byrne, Ray Schultz, Liam Previtera, Jordan Farina (Jackson Hall 77’), Matt Capelo, Royce Brownlie, Seb Kalos (Finn Beakhurst 69’), Alex Janovsky (Joey Masuda 80’), Taiga Ishikura. Subs not used: Sam Dickinson, Jacob Mitchell.

Olympic: Nick Mooney, Liam O’Bryan (Matt Gordon 53’), James Cuminao, Scott Bow, Matt Mundy, Kazuya Ito, Danny Byrne, Brad Scott, Sam Cronin, Kristen Waters, Youeil Shol (Matt Heath 62’). Subs not used: Chris Anderson, Linden Farr, Dakota Sprange.

Referee: Trent Sleeman