GCU wins seven-goal thriller

A massive second half fight-back in difficult conditions has seen Gold Coast United Youth defeat Sydney FC Youth 4-3 at Owen Park on Sunday.

A massive second half fight-back in difficult conditions has seen Gold Coast United Youth defeat Sydney FC Youth 4-3 at Owen Park on Sunday.

Second -half substitute Golgol Mebrahtu was the hero for United Youth as he smashed home the winner deep into injury time.

After going 3-1 down early in the second half, the United youngsters rallied and goals from Reuben Way and Tahj Minniecon helped turn around the two-goal deficit.

The first time the two teams met back in November Gold Coast managed a 2-0 win over Sydney but it was the away-side that looked to stamp its mark on the match early on.

Attacking midfielder Joel Chianese had Sydney-s first chance when he slid a shot just inches wide of Gold Coast keeper Jerrad Tyson-s right post early in the piece.

Tyson was then tested minutes later as he made a great diving save to deny Iain Ramsay-s right-foot effort from just outside the area.

After sustaining the early pressure Gold Coast then capitalised on some casual Sydney defending and opened the scoring on 22 minutes.

Hyundai A-league regular Minniecon intercepted a throw by Sydney keeper Nenad Vekic just outside the penalty area and played a neat ball into Chris Harrold who took advantage of the opportunistic work and slotted neatly into the bottom right-hand corner.
Sydney-s response was almost instant as Andrew Barisic felled Kerem Bulut right on the tip of the area. Dimitrios Petratos stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and curled a wonderful right-foot strike over the wall and into the net, the shot leaving Tyson with no chance.

As the first half drew to a close Gold Coast was dealt a blow as captain Steven Lustica was stretchered off with an ankle injury after coming off second best in a tackle.

Returning from the change rooms it was Sydney that looked to go in front, a Petratos volley low at goal forced Tyson to parry out-side the area, but it went only as far as Chianese who crossed into Miller at the back post, the right-back-s first time shot going centimetres wide of the post.

With wet conditions playing its part and the action moving from end-to-end a mistimed clearance by Sydney defender Luke Austin saw the ball bounce to Barisic who was unlucky to score after his header just cleared the bar.

Pressing hard, a Gold Coast corner in the 55th minute then saw defender Callum Hare-s effort tipped around the post by Vekic after Minniecon knocked the ball hard across the area.

As the clock hit the hour-mark, lone Sydney striker Bulut then gave Sydney the lead after Iain Ramsay crossed dangerously into the area. With wet conditions causing havoc, the ball skidded off the heads of two United defenders and into the path of Bulut who took a touch and made no mistake as he tucked willingly home.

Sydney then looked to have secured the win when Petratos- whipped-in corner drew Tyson off his line, Joseph Gibbs however, managed to get his head to the ball first and nod home, extending Sydney-s lead and making the score 3-1.

With the match seemingly over Gold Coast managed to pull a goal back through Way. After a well taken corner from Mitch Bevan, Way, who was left un-marked on the penalty spot, headed powerfully into the net giving hope to a United fight-back.

The second goal proved to be a catalyst and the game sparked back into life as Minniecon found a classy equaliser in the 86th minute. A quick break down the right saw Richard Greer play an excellent ball into the path of Minniecon, who chipped expertly over an advancing Vekic.

With Sydney completely stunned and the match moving deep into stoppage time, Gold Coast produced a remarkable comeback as second-half substitute Mebrahtu smashed home the winner.

After Minniecon had won United a corner a goal mouth scramble ensued and with the ball looking destined for a goal kick, forward Chris Harold managed to knock it back over his head and into the path of Mebrahtu who sized up the chance and volleyed hard through a wall of blue and yellow shirts into the back of the net.

The win was Gold Coast-s second in a row and sees it move up to third on the ladder on 25 points, while Sydney remains on 20 points after losing its sixth game of the season.

Gold Coast United Youth: 4 (Harrold 22, Way 85, Minniecon 86, Mebrahtu 90+3)
Sydney FC Youth: 3 (Petratos 24, Bulut 60, Gibbs 74)