Blacktown City have secured their place in the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Grand Final after defeating 2022 Premiers Sydney Olympic FC at Belmore Sportsground on Sunday evening in a 5-4 penalty shoot out after extra time finished locked at 1-1.

Goals to Grant Lynch and Roy O’Donovan within the first 15 minutes of the battle were the only two of the match as the hard-fought 120 minute game ended in penalties.

The penalties saw a 5-4 result in favour of the visitors with Blacktown goalkeeper Dylan Niski making two saves to deny the Premiers a Grand Final spot.

The shootout was the second in as many weeks for Olympic, whose season now comes to a close after they snagged the Premiership from Blacktown City on the final day of the competition, keeping out Manly United on goal difference.

In contrast to previous Finals games, the first goal of the match came just 10 minutes in as a free kick from near the corner position saw Blacktown City get ahead.

Hirokai Aoyama took the free kick and curled the ball into the area, which connected with the head of Lynch and bounced into the goal.

It wasn’t long until Olympic would level the playing field, with the hosts converting through O’Donovan in the 14th minute.

The Irish striker received a throw-in from Nikola Udjur inside the area and tapped the ball in from close range.

The visitors had a chance to take back the advantage just before the half-time break as Mario Shabow set up Tyren Burnie, but Burnie’s pass across the goalface couldn’t meet Mitchell Mallia as Olympic ‘keeper Christopher Parsons managed to collect.

Blacktown again looked poised to take the lead in the 58th minute as Travis Major headed a corner towards the goal, but it bounced off the woodwork.

The hosts had an opportunity in the 67th minute after a foul from Lachlan Campbell saw them with a free kick around the half-way mark.

The ball reached Blacktown’s Daniel Collins, who headed it into the path of O’Donovan, but the shot was just off target.

Blacktown came back just moments later as Major sent a ball to Jordan Smylie in front of goal but Michael Glassock was able to get in the path of his shot to deny the substitute.

As the game progressed to extra time with no team able to break the deadlock, Olympic applied pressure and came close to the advantage through Adam Parkhouse just after the restart.

Dylan Niski produced a crucial save to deny Olympic as a free kick gave them another dangerous opportunity.

Glassock came agonisingly close for the home side, but headed the ball over the bar from a corner in the 116th minute.

As neither team was able to finish extra time on top, the game went to penalties for the second week in a row at Belmore Sportsground.

Daniel Collins put the first penalty past Parsons, while Udjur converted the first for Olympic.

Askew took the next for Blacktown and converted, while Parkhouse’s effort was saved by Niski.

Lynch’s effort was saved by Parsons to level the score once again and O’Donovan sent his shot in.

Jak O’Brien was next up for Blacktown and converted after a pause caught Parsons out, while Glassock powered his shot into the netting.

Major stepped up for the fifth for Blacktown and successfully converted while Hagi Gligor did the same, making it sudden death.

Danny Choi took the next for the visitors, leaving Ben Van Meurs with the weight on his shoulders, but Niski knocked the defender’s effort out of its path to secure the victory.

Blacktown City will now take on Manly United in the Grand Final at CommBank Stadium on Saturday 27th August.

Match Stats

Sydney Olympic FC 1(4) (Roy O’Donovan 14’)

Blacktown City FC 1(5) (Grant Lynch 10’)

Sunday, 21st August, 2022

Blacktown City Sports Centre, Seven Hills

Referee: Adrian Arndt

Assistant Referees: Brodie Merchant and Matt Staples

Fourth Official: Christian Verdicchio

Sydney Olympic FC: 3. Nikola Udjur, 4. Ben Van Meurs, 5. Michael Glassock, 6. Mathieu Cordier, 8. Sam Mcillhatton, 9. Oliver Puflett (41. Michael Vakis 82’), 11. Adam Parkhouse, 19. Darcy Burgess (24. Hagi Gligor 79’), 20. Christopher Parsons, 23. Daniel Dias, 99. Roy O’Donovan

Substitutes Not Used: 2. Thomas Whiteside, 16. James Cakovski, 36. Peter Politis, 90. Evan Hamele

Yellow Cards: Cordier 35’, Vakis 89’

Red Cards: Nil 

Blacktown City FC: 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell (17. Dakota Askew 115’), 5. Grant Lynch, 7. Travis Major, 10. Mario Shabow (45. Danny Choi 99’), 11. Mitchell Mallia (89. Jordan Smylie 67’), 12. Tyren Burnie, 16. Ben Berry, 24. Jackson Bandiera, 32. Hirokai Aoyama (8. Jak O’Brien 90’), 40. Dylan Niski

Substitutes Not Used: 22. Carlos De Oliveira, 30. Alexander Robinson

Yellow Cards: Major 49’, Campbell 67’

Red Cards: Nil

Early bird tickets are now available for the NPLNSW Men’s Grand Final.

Secure your spot at CommBank Stadium on August 27 to watch the state’s best go head-to-head for the coveted prize.

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