Canberra Olympic claimed another Charity Shield with a 3-1 victory over Tuggeranong United on Friday night at Melrose.
A brace from Jeremy Habtemariam and a first Olympic goal for Nik Popovich was enough despite Danny Crkovski’s first half belter for United.
Tuggeranong started dangerously, with Aisosa Ihegie in particular proving a problem down the right hand side, and an early penalty claim was waved away as he went to ground.
Up the other end Michael John was causing issues with his pace, but both sides showed early signs of pre-season rust with missed touches skittling chances at goal.
Tuggeranong were dealt a blow just after the 20-minute mark though when young defender Marlon Thompson stayed down after a challenge and Mitch Stevens was forced into an early substitution.
And from the restart Olympic struck; Habtemariam raced down the wing and placed a perfect cross for Popovich to finish brilliantly.
That seemed to shift Frank Cachia’s side into gear, and they made it two just ten minutes later as Roko Strika chipped a pass in behind to Habtemariam and he finished past Rory Larkin from close range.
Olympic almost extended the lead but a turnover in midfield brought United back into the game as they struck back. The excellent Shane Murray robbed Strika in midfield and raced away before feeding Crkovski in the left channel, and he rifled his shot into the net, giving Angelo Konstantinou no chance at stopping it to cut the deficit at the break.
Tom Pagett, shifted from the front to the back when Thompson went down, made a huge tackle eight minutes after half-time to deny Popovich as it looked like he could only score, while Konstantinou saved from Crkovski moments later down the other end as the game opened up.
Larkin was in esteemed form between the sticks as well, and a huge double save first from Daniel Colbertaldo and then Popovich again kept the margin at just one goal.
Tuggeranong continued to push and had a penalty shout turned down, but Olympic eventually sealed it as they broke down the other end and Habtemariam finished a good passing move to wrap up the match.
Canberra Olympic XI: 1. Konstantinou, 2. T. Bobolas, 17. N. Bobolas, 23. Megic, 22. John, 10. Strika, 4. Colbertaldo, 11. Reeve, 15. McLachlan, 6. Habtemariam, 9. Popovich
Tuggeranong United XI: 1. Larkin, 14. Vearncombe, 7. Walsh, 3. Gayer, 14. Thompson, 11. Ihegie, 8. Murray, 12. Turek, 9. Slavich, 2. Pagett, 10. Crkovski