Canberra Olympic survived six silly yellow cards and a sin-bin to notch their second Premier League win in four days. It might have been gritty but the unified effort was all that mattered for Robbie Cattanach.
Seven yellow cards were handed out in Olympic's 3-1 win over the Monaro Panthers at O'Connor Enclosed on Saturday.
There was shirt-pulling, back-chat, and players kicking the ball away, leading to referee Delfina Dimoski turning to disciplinary action to keep the players in check.
It left Olympic coach Cattanach frustrated by his side's lack of discipline, especially when they were given out for "silly things".
"To be honest, it wasn't a rough game or anything like that. There were a lot of silly yellow cards, like kicking the ball away and things that shouldn't be happening," Cattanach said.
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"We'll talk to our boys about that and make sure they don't do it next week because it's a bit of a pet hate of mine.
"I don't mind the tackles and we were pretty good with our tackles, we weren't missing them or anything like that. It wasn't a rough game or any injuries to either side, it's about discipline really."
But that's where the concerns stopped for Cattanach, who's side kept the Panthers winless after the opening three rounds.
The victory came less than 72 hours after Olympic defeated Tuggeranong United 5-1 at the AIS, leaving the Canberra coach pleased with their 90 minute effort.
"There were a lot of mistakes but that happens with fatigue. I'm just really happy they kept putting in the effort and kept working hard, they turned up and kept helping each other out," Cattanach said.
It was a tale of two halves as both teams battled for dominance before the break, with the momentum shifting from side to side.
Monaro had the first solid chance to score in the opening ten minutes, with an attempt from Sam Smith flying over the cross bar.
But it was Aisosa Ihegie who broke the deadlock for Olympic in the 38th minute, with Canberra taking advantage of Sam Roestbakken getting caught in defence.
Ihegie then pounced on a Michael Piccolo through-ball and burst into the penalty area to score in the bottom-left corner.
Olympic's celebrations were cut short just six minutes later when Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu tapped in a Smith cross to score his first NPL goal.
Canberra came out firing in the second-half and Nik Popovich put the home side ahead with an early goal off a ricocheting ball.
It marked the undoing of Monaro's match as Olympic hit the accelerator and dominated play, with Stephen Domenici scoring the two-goal buffer with stunning strike in the 58th minute.
Monaro had a glimmer of hope when Nick Faust was sent off for 10 minutes for dissent, but couldn't take advantage of the numerical difference.
"We had a lot of young guys on the field at that point and they did really well. We sat off, we were two goals up with 10 minutes to go so we didn't need to chase the game," Cattanach said.
"We let them come at us and absorbed it, which I think the guys did well."
Olympic will now shift their attention to the undefeated Canberra Croatia, who they'll meet at Deakin Stadium in round four.
"They've recruited well and have a good coach. We're just excited to be playing games," Cattanach said.
"We want to play against Deakin because they're one of the best teams in the competition. It'll be a good game with everyone fresh."
Across town, Tuggeranong United notched their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Woden-Weston at Melrose Synethic.
AT A GLANCE
Canberra Premier League round three: CANBERRA OLYMPIC 3 (Ihegie, Popovich, Domenici) bt MONARO PANTHERS 1 (Ahmed-Shaibu), TUGGERANONG UNITED 2 bt WODEN-WESTON 0