Olympic put troubles behind them - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Olympic put troubles behind them

By Glenn Cullen 24/02/2003 05:50:56 AM Comments (0)

Olympic gained an important mental edge over national soccer league rivals Perth Glory in a week where the Sharks could have been excused for having a let-down in the psychology department.

With coach Gary Phillips' surprise sacking during the week and an ordinary run of form over the past two months, the Sharks were given little chance of upsetting first-placed Glory at home.

But beat them they did, an own-goal from Jamie Harnwell after a 62nd minute scramble in the box proving the difference.

The win kept the Sharks in the race for the minor premiership - with three rounds to go before the finals they passed Glory by a point to lead the competition, though Perth does have a game in hand.

In this season's finals structure the top two teams get a six point and three point buffer respectively before playing each top six team twice in a home and away series.

The top two teams then go through to the grand final.

Perhaps more significantly it was the third consecutive win for Olympic over Perth (including last season's grand final) - something new coach Lee Sterrey said was discussed before the game.

"It is a mental game at first grade level so if we can keep the momentum up against the Glory I think that is crucial come finals time," Sterrey said.

The expected two-horse race between Perth and Olympic may have to be broadened to three though, Newcastle impressive in touching up fellow top six team Parramatta on Friday night at Energy Australia Stadium.

United piled on second half goals to Esala Masi, Michael Wilson and Ryan Griffiths to cement third spot.

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