AIS earn a point in Sydney

The AIS have ended a nine-match losing streak, capturing their first competition points following a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Cromer Park.

The AIS have ended a nine-match losing streak, capturing their first competition points following a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Cromer Park.

The visitors led 1-0 at half-time and 2-1 midway through the second half but were unable to hang on for what would have been their first victory of the season.

Sydney stay in seventh but will feel they should have taken all three points after dominating the final stages.

The first half an hour was played almost exclusively in the middle third as both teams toyed with each other without creating anything meaningful on goal.

But as legs tired on the artificial turf pitch, the opportunities started to present themselves.

The always industrious Mitch Mallia won the ball in the middle of the park and immediately fed his captain Hagi Gligor with space either side.

Gligor found Daniel Petkovski but his weak effort on goal didn’t match the build up.

Jack Iredale was AIS’s answer to Mallia and it was his long ball over the top that allowed Liam Rose to bear down on goal with keeper Anthony Bouzanis fast approaching.

Rose clipped his shot over Bouzanis but it had a little too much on it, drifting just over the bar.

But the visitors didn’t have to wait too much longer to grab the lead.

Matthew Schmidt, who had just come on for the injured Iredale, played a lovely long ball to put Todd Norris one-on-one with Bouzanis.

Norris and Bouzanis arrived at the same time, the pair colliding and the ball ricocheting off Norris’ body and rolling into an empty net.

Sydney started the second half the stronger of the two teams and were soon back on equal terms.

Mallia created time and space for Alec Uroveski inside the box and he finished superbly with a composed left-foot strike.

But the AIS, sniffing their first points of the season, weren’t about to surrender.

They regained the lead just past the hour mark following some terrible set piece defending from the Sky Blues,

Scott Galloway’s free kick from 30m out drifted menacingly towards the back post looking for a head but was allowed to creep inside the right-hand corner of the net without another touch.

Sensing the urgency of the situation, Sydney began to pour forward in numbers looking to restore parity.

They wasted a number of gilt-edged chances before a touch of class from Chris Naumoff on 74 minutes handed them a lifeline.

The No.10 took the ball on the edge of the box and let fly with an unstoppable drive into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Neither side was able to grab a late winner despite chances at both ends.

Sydney FC 2
(Uroveski 51, Naumoff 74)

(Norris 45, Galloway 62)

Sydney FC: Bouzanis (Bozic 45), Calver, Dotti, Gligor, MacDonald, Mallia, Naumoff, Petkovski, Speranza (Lum 57), Stergiou (Slater 57), Taneski (Urosevski 45)
Res: Bozic, Lum, Slater, Uroveski

AIS: Appiah, Barresi, Galloway, Gersbach, Iredale (Schmidt 40), Madden, Norris (Pickert 55), Ntoumenopulos (Tshongo 55), Rose, Thurtell, Wardland
Res: Pickert, Schmidt, Spinella, Tshongo

Sydney FC’s next home game should be a Christmas Cracker. Another derby against local rivals Central Coast Mariners over the holiday period on December 27th. Get your tickets now from Ticketek and enjoy some sizzling A-League Summer Football!!!