Chris Dutton June 25, 2012
Canberra Olympic goalkeeper Chris Bellgard punches the ball away against Canberra FC. Photo: Richard Briggs
He's got the golden coaching touch but stand-in mentor Leo Exarhos insists he's not gunning for the top job at Canberra Olympic despite leading the team to a grudge-match victory yesterday.
Olympic shocked defending champion Canberra FC with a 1-0 win at O'Connor Enclosed to keep it within striking distance of the top four.
With regular Olympic coach Dean Ugrnic on the Gold Coast, Exarhos took the reins and he didn't disappoint.
It was the eighth time Premier League pathways coach Exarhos had stepped up in Urgnic's absence and a 75th minute goal delivered his seventh win.
''I'm definitely putting pressure on him,'' Exarhos joked.
''We're good mates and whenever he's gone away I've kept a pretty good record and we've managed to get some wins so maybe there's something in that.''
The match was always going to be a fierce contest between old rivals.
But extra spice was added to the contest just weeks after the clubs agreed to trade star strikers Domenic Giampaolo and Victor Yanes.
Giampaolo returned home to Canberra FC while Yanes joined the Olympic charge.
And Olympic had the last laugh yesterday when Yanes ''put the icing on the cake'' to set up the winning goal.
After the Olympic goal-keeper sent the ball long down the field, Yanes passed to Robbie Deeley who ''smashed it into the corner and that's all we needed''.
''It was a bit of a dog fight and it was a fantastic effort,'' Exarhos said of the win.
''There was a lot of pride and heart out there … no one wanted to lose with the bragging rights on the line.
''We haven't been setting the world on fire but I think we're really starting to turn the corner.
''That keeps us in touch with the top four and a good boost going up against top of the ladder Belconnen next week.''
CANBERRA OLYMPIC 1 (R Deeley) bt CANBERRA FC 0; TUGGERANONG UNITED 4 (M Shields 2, S Griffiths, T Anderson) bt MONARO PANTHERS 2 (D Cobertaldo 2); COOMA TIGERS 3 (A Castro 2, R Cattanach) drew with WODEN VALLEY 3 (P Marlette 2, S Hinde).