Cosmos v Olympic

Round 10 report by Chris Kunz
Canberra Cosmos v Sydney Olympic

Every now and again something or somebody appears on the scene, who is either all but unknown or a Welcome Stranger.

Canberra had its own most welcome nugget in its debutant, Uruguayan Milton Cortes, whose touches and vision lit up an evening that was good value - even if the visitors won.

Olympic remind me of predatory bats, swooping silently on the wing, then poucing with a screech in the middle. They took the lead, against the run of play when a unnecessarily paniced attempt to clear from the Cosmos defence found its way back to young Owens, who had time in the box (despite 3 interested defenders) to place his shot wide of Konstantinou.

Immediately, the touring Olympic fan battalion started their "Oh, Lim, Pic" chant at a pace that had more in common with singing from Zorba the Greek than a realistic version of team support.

Canberra pressed back and an interplay involving Cortes, Ravanello (yes, he actually played better tonight) and Imaya, led to the young Japanese player slipping the ball past Bolton from just inside the area.

Imaya is a newcomer too, but made sure that his debut season would be remembered with a second goal, 38 seconds into the second half. Cortes cut in from the right wing and played a pass slightly back for Imaya to run into and score.

Canberra now looked capable of winning this game comfortably - and probably would have done so had they gone up 3:1.

It was not to be: Branko Paresi (who didn't even feature in the match programme) came on wearing the No. 16 in the 64th minute - and within 5 minutes had added more sixes to his devilishly good Bruce Stadium debut, with goals in the 66th and 69th minutes - the second a mere tap-in after Konstantinou had committed himself out to his left, leaving a couple of blue bats in the middle with enough time for a feast.

Olympic's fans stood up and looked around, as if to say: "Doesn't this place have a big mirror where you and I can see just how wonderful my team and I are? Of course we were always going to beat you incompetents!" The funny thing is that you hardly ever see or hear them till they score!

Canberra came back again in the last fifteen minutes, but the still-not-match-fit Cortes was tiring and without the drive of Phillips and Castro the Cosmos were always hoping for another late miracle, rather than looking like producing it.

Two goals from two newcomers and a glimpse of a real talent in the tiny, bald-headed Cortes, whose skills will adorn NSL grounds in the weeks and months to come was, as things panned out, not bad fare, though a realised prospect of 3 points would have added value, but I guess you can't always strike gold!