Olympic FC secured second spot and a home semi-final with a commanding 3-0 win over Lions at Lions Stadium on Saturday night.
Goals from Tasuku Sekiya, Steve Whyte & Jez Lofthouse secured the win as Olympic wrapped up a league double over Lions and sent out a strong warning to their rivals ahead of this seasons NPL Queensland finals series.
Sekiya opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he latched onto a Costa Psaros through ball and slammed his shot into the back of the net for what was his seventh goal of the season.
Sekiya turned provider in the dying stages of the first half when he intercepted a stray pass from Lions Captain, Matija Simic before driving towards the Lions defence and playing in Steve Whyte who finished clinically at the same end he scored in the 2018 Grand Final.
Lofthouse rounded out the 3-0 score line in the 67th minute when he cut in from the right flank and rifled the ball into the bottom corner at the near post as Olympic handed Lions their first home defeat in the league since February 2019.
Saturday’s win means Olympic finish the regular season in second position on the NPL Queensland league table, they will face either Lions or Gold Coast Knights in a home semi final at Goodwin Park in a fortnight’s time.
Despite Olympic trailing Peninsula Power by just three points coming into the final day of the season they are unable to catch the newly crowned Premiers as a result of the Redcliffe based outfit having an unassailable amount of wins to their name this season.
This comes following a change to NPL Queensland competition regulations ahead of the 2020 season which weights number of wins over goal difference to split teams level on points.
Speaking post-match, Head Coach Ben Cahn said he was delighted with this sides showing in Saturday’s match.
“I’m really proud of the boys. Not many teams win at Lions, it’s an amazing facility and they’ve been so strong there as we’ve found out in the last few years. It was a top performance and exceptional result,” Cahn said.
“With Peninsula winning on Friday and the way the ‘most wins’ rule emerged last week, everyone’s a bit disappointed, that we’re not playing to win the league next week.
“It would have been easy for the boys to switch off but they gave everything, showed a lot of character and class and we’ve secured a home semi.
“Goodwin Park will be rocking in two weeks.”
The newly introduced most wins rule also means Olympic can relegate rivals Brisbane City with victory when the two face each other at Goodwin Park next Sunday in the final match of the regular season (6pm KO).
City currently sit rock bottom of the NPL Queensland standings, trailing Redlands United, who they are level on points with as a result of an inferior amount of wins.
Cahn said next Sunday’s match would prove to be somewhat of a balancing act for his side.
“It’s a tough one, because we have to balance doing what’s best for us in terms of making sure we’re in the best possible shape for the semi final as well as respecting and protecting the integrity of the competition by putting out a strong team in a game that could have big consequences at the other end of the table,” Cahn concluded.
NPL Queensland 2020: Round 13 – Lions FC vs Olympic FC
Lions Stadium, Richlands
Saturday, 7 November
Lions FC – 0
Olympic FC – 3 (Tasuku Sekiya 21’, Steve WHYTE 40’, Jez LOFTHOUSE 67’)