Olympic kicked off their NPL Queensland 2022 campaign with a 1-0 win against cross-town rivals Brisbane City at Goodwin Park on Saturday night.
A stunning Takeru Okada strike on debut proved decisive as Ben Cahn maintained his perfect opening day winning record, taking the three points for a fifth straight season.
Olympic’s new number eleven found the back of the net in his debut for the club – a sublime long range strike from outside the box, beating City goalkeeper Duro Dragicevic to send the home side into the half time break with the lead.
The goal came moments after a head clash between Olympic newcomer, Zac Kierpal and City’s Matt Smith, the latter being forced to come out of the game early – Olympic wishes Matt Smith a speedy recovery.
A flurry of chances came early in the second half, with Kierpal amongst the action again, almost doubling Olympic’s lead with a strike inside the area denied by Dragicevic.
Okada then had his brace denied by the near post, firing a turning shot inches high in the 53rd minute, with Shannon Brady then coming close minutes later, beating the City defence but putting his effort narrowly wide of the post.
Olympic defence held firm to hold out to the clean sheet and keep all three points, with Okada’s debut bullet being the game’s match winning goal.
Olympic – Takeru Okada – 24’
Okada drives the ball forward in City’s half, beating his marker and cutting in to score with a hard, well-placed long range effort from outside the box.
REACTION: Ben Cahn – Head Coach
“I was very pleased with the performance, we started really well and as we tired through the game, we were still able to defend well, control the majority and create some really good chances against a strong team.
“It’s been a disrupted pre-season for everyone and a tough last couple of weeks for us so it’s a massive relief to start with three points and a good performance that we can build on.
“We’re all wishing Matt Smith a quick and safe recovery and hoping there’s no long lasting damage.
“It was about as bad a clash as I’ve seen on a football pitch to be honest.
“Zac (Kierpal) seems to have come out of it ok. He’s had the gash seen to in hospital over night and he’s a bit sore this morning, but we’re expecting he’ll be ok to return to training tomorrow.”
Olympic face another early season blockbuster, with a trip to Underwood Park to take on Brisbane Roar Youth away in NPL QLD Round Two action next Sunday evening (KO 5:30pm).
The club’s last match against Young Roar saw Olympic winning 3-0 in last season’s NPL QLD Semi Final at Goodwin Park.
NPL Queensland 2022 – Round 2: Brisbane Roar Youth v Olympic FC
Underwood Park, Rochedale
Sunday, 27 March: 5:30pm KO