There was late, late drama in the NPL Finals Series 2018 Semi-Final clash between Campbelltown City SC and Sydney Olympic yesterday.
An early Sydney lead was scrubbed out before the half-time whistle, and a late Campbelltown penalty sealed things up and secured the South Australian side a 2-1 win.
SEMI-FINAL: Lions qualify thanks to penalties
It means that the National Premier Leagues 2018 Grand Final will be played between NPL QLD’s Lions FC and NPL SA’s Campbelltown City
Here’s how yesterday’s match went down.
Sydney Olympic hit the front in just the second minute of the match, with an outrageous goal from Max Burgess. He pinched the ball outside the area, and his left-footed strike beat the Campbelltown ‘keeper to give the visitors an early lead.
The first half was a bit of an arm-wrestle before Campbelltown managed to find themselves a goal through Marc Marino in the 43rd minute to level things up.
The home side came out of the sheds firing in the second half and nearly had a goal with a few chances in the opening ten minutes.
Olympic looked like they might have been in on goal in the 86th minute when Jason Madonis ran through, but Jake Halliday brought him down with a superb sliding tackle to send the ball out for a corner.
It came in and Sydney had the ball in the back of the net through Max Burgess, but no sooner had they wheeled away to celebrate had the flag gone up for offside and the score remained 1-1.
With the clock winding down and the scores locked it looked like the match might have been heading to extra-time, but there was late drama to come.
Campbelltown attacker Luigi Ditroia chased after the ball inside the penalty box and attempted to use his body to shield it, but was brought down by Jinya An and the referee pointed to the spot.
The captain, Iain Fyfe, stepped up to the spot for the penalty. The veteran defender made no mistake, and Campbelltown after having gone down 1-0 in the 2nd minute, won it in the 93rd.