Academy snatch late victory at Popondetta Park

Sydney FC Academy showcased their resilience and determination on Saturday night as they secured a 2-1 comeback victory against Mt Druitt Town Rangers at Popondetta Park. The National Premier Leagues (NPL) encounter witnessed a highly competitive first half, with Mt Druitt capitalising on one of their chances to take an early lead. Unfortunately, Sydney FC missed their opportunity to equalise, leaving the scoreline at 1-0 going into halftime.

The second half saw the Sky Blues dominate possession and create numerous scoring opportunities. Their relentless pursuit of goals paid off when U19 player Luka Smyth unleashed a stunning long-range effort, which nestled into the bottom corner, levelling the score. The momentum swung firmly in Sydney FC’s favour, and it was U18 talent Louis Agosti who proved to be the hero of the night.

Agosti got onto the end of a Clayton Taylor flick and the 17 year old poked the ball past the Rangers keeper.

The victory did not come without its challenges, as Mt Druitt Town Rangers mounted a late surge, piling on the pressure with a couple of set pieces, however, Sydney FC displayed remarkable defensive resilience and held firm to preserve their hard-fought advantage until the final whistle.

Sydney FC coach Jimmy Van Weeren was delighted with the win for his young side with their second half comeback.

“To be down 1-0 we were disappointed at the break. We had two chances to work the keeper but we gave away a goal through sloppy defending. The boys did well in the second half to control the game and dominante the chances.” said Van Weeren.

“For young kids, they go a goal down and show some mental toughness to fight back. Luka Smyth scored a wonderful goal then I was delighted for Louis Agosti to come on and score the winner for us.” added Van Weeren.

Several standout performers contributed significantly to the team’s success on the night. U20 player Oscar Priestman was not only instrumental in the victory but also earned recognition as part of the Football NSW team of the week. Additionally, U19 players Matt Scarcella and Luka Smyth, along with U20 player Nathan Paull, showcased their immense talent and played pivotal roles in securing the comeback win.

The U20’s also had a good performance under coach Matt Sim as they ran out 6-2 victors.

Off the pitch this week, a number of boys from the Academy have been recognised in their National Sides. Tiago Quintal, Jacob McLachlan, Richard Nkomo, Mitchell Glasson, and Zac De Jesus received well-deserved call-ups to the Joeys, highlighting their exceptional performances and potential on the field. Additionally, U18 player Zane Schreiber’s selection in the Young Socceroos squad further attests to the remarkable talent within Sydney FC’s ranks.

Sydney FC Academy continues to make strides in the NPL competition, demonstrating their commitment to developing young players and nurturing their skills.

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