Olympic extend lead on table with thrilling 4-2 win as youngsters shine

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Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
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Flying winger Al Mupotaringa, 16, gets to the ball as quick defender Niall Riggs, 17, works to close him down.
Camera IconFlying winger Al Mupotaringa, 16, gets to the ball as quick defender Niall Riggs, 17, works to close him down. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Supplied

Olympic FC continued their winning ways in what is turning out to be a thrilling local soccer season on Saturday, but could only take a three-point lead on the table.

Olympic’s coach warned that despite raining goals all season and taking a solid win against a young Abrolhos side for their fifth victory in six games so far, his team would have to stay focused on winning, with others nipping at their heels.

Olympic forward Agus Hashim signalled the team’s intent by smashing a 40-yard strike on to the bar with almost the first kick of the game, and the pace didn’t let up from there, with Paul Johnson also going close as 15-year-old Abrolhos A-grade keeper Kyron Sheffield showed lightning reflexes and agility to keep his side alive.

There were six goals before the break, with an Olympic side that has plenty of pace through players such as Kumbi Dzoma, Al Mupotaringa, Armani Liswaniso and Shiddiq Malik; precise attack through Hashim; and experience at the back and centre, putting four past Abrolhos, whose promising youngsters replied with two.

The Vikings came out fired up after the break, with quick players like Niall Riggs and Daniel Mooney managing to keep the Blues quieter in a scoreless second half, but the damage was done and the game ended 4-2.

Blues coach Frank De Luca warned that despite their dominant displays, including an 11-goal haul earlier in the season, his side would need to stay switched on.

“The first half was going our way,” he said.

“We were very happy with the performance, we were knocking the ball round and scoring goals.

“We had our opportunities, but just didn’t follow through with them.

“Kumbi in the middle was fantastic, he played well the whole game and dominated (in spells).

“Al and Armani have got a great future ahead of them.”

He said Stuart Bain and Ahmad Faizal cleaned up well in the back line and the whole team contributed. In Saturday’s other league game, a Rovers side containing Tony Vu, Ben Rollett and Bis G.C. toiled against Chapman Athletic but were overwhelmed 4-1, with Chapman moving to second on the ladder on 12 points. Abrolhos play La Fiamma at the Salvatore Sciuto ground on Wednesday at 7pm, while Olympic play Rovers on Thursday at 8pm at Eadon Clarke.

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