Central Coast Mariners goal-scorer Matt Sim admitted Olympic FC got on top of his side in the second half of their Westfield FFA Cup round of 16 tie on Tuesday night.
The Mariners led 2-0 at half-time in Brisbane thanks to an early goal from Nick Fitzgerald and long-range strike from Sim but the home side fought back after the break, eventually pulling a goal back through Jordan McLean.
It set up a tense finish at the Queensland Sports and Athletic Centre with Central Coast only securing their 3-1 victory when Glen Trifiro struck in the 86th minute.
Sim revealed that Mariners coach Phil Moss had warned his team before the match about the importance of maintaining the upper hand physically throughout the 90 minutes.
"Mossy said before the game, 'you've got to win the right to win the football game', so that means win the battle and we did that in the first half," Sim said.
"In the second half they got on top of us a bit, and we had to sit in our structure and try and hold them off.
"But it's very important in those games that you do win the battle because it's a big game for them, you know, they're playing against an A-League team and want to get through to the next round as well."
Sim added that Olympic frustrated the Mariners for large parts of the match.
"They obviously had a plan on how they were going to set up and they were difficult to break down at times, and that's what you're going to get in these Cup games," the 26-year-old said.