Wollongong Olympic coach Wayne Farnsworth has praised his squad’s ability to bounce back from an abysmal first half in their Fraternity Cup semi-final penalty shootout win over Tarrawanna.
Olympic trailed 2-0 15 minutes into the knockout clash, before fighting back to force extra time.
They prevailed 5-4 in a penalty shootout, leaving Farnsworth impressed with his squad’s response after the interval.
‘‘I was delighted with their character, they never lack character,’’ Farnsworth said.
‘‘I think one of the [Tarrawanna] boys said after the game, ‘It wouldn’t matter if you were 7-0 up you just seem to chase teams down, you just keep going’.’’
Farnsworth admitted ‘‘doing his nut’’ at half-time in a bid to boost his ailing squad.
‘‘The first 45 minutes was awful. That is probably one of the worst performances I have seen them put in, in a long time,’’ he said.
‘‘Discipline went out of the window and that was the biggest disappointment.’’
An early defensive lapse from Olympic helped Tarrawanna take the lead through Ricky Goodchild.
The creative attacker picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Olympic box and thundered his strike into the net.
Samet Kaynak scored from the penalty spot shortly after to make it 2-0 before Mark Picciolini tallied a brace to bring Olympic back into the contest.
In the other semi-final, Bulli knocked out Illawarra Premier League champions Port Kembla in a 1-0 result.
Hayden Mowbray scored the game’s only goal to move Bulli into a preseason cup final against Olympic on Wednesday.