Robbie Mileski’s 95th minute goal salvaged a last gasp 1-0 win for Sydney FC’s youth side over Perth Glory at Cromer Park today, as the Sky Blues showed their determination to begin another long winning streak.
Robbie Mileski-s 95th minute goal salvaged a last gasp 1-0 win for Sydney FC-s youth side over Perth Glory at Cromer Park today, as the Sky Blues showed their determination to begin another long winning streak.
It looked as though a goalkeeping exhibition from both sides was going to keep the open, entertaining match scoreless, but the hard-working Mileski bobbed up in the box and flicked home Kerim Bulut-s floating, deflected shot with virtually the last touch of the game.
The home side should have enjoyed a comfortable half-time lead after a barrage of chances in the first term, and coach Steve O-Connor was wrapped with his side-s desire and patience until the death.
“We said at half-time that the good teams, the Man Uniteds and that, how many goals do they score in last minute of a game because they-re still going strong,” he said. “We had to do the same. We could score in the 5th minute or the 95th minute, but it-s still a win. We pinched one at the death which was good to see – they deserved it because they worked really hard.”
The first clear-cut chance came when Adam Biddle got to the byline and forced Dejan Aleksic into a smart save at the near post on 24 minutes.
Just two minutes later sublime interplay between Chris Payne, Mileski and Biddle unlocked the Perth defence, but Aleksic was off his line like a flash and made a tremendous one-on-one block.
The heavens opened after half-an-hour but somehow Perth-s back-four wasn-t leaking any goals. Payne, the livewire Kofi Danning and Nik Tsattalios all had shots blocked in the box, before Payne cannoned a strike into the near post with Danning unmarked on the penalty spot.
Local boy Payne was revelling on his old stomping ground, and on 40 minutes he outpaced and outfoxed Perth-s overage centre-half Dino Djulbic, nipping in behind off a long ball before Djulbic brought him down in the box.
However, Aleksic was the hero again for Perth, hooking Payne-s tame penalty away with his trailing leg.
The Payne-Aleksic battle wasn-t finished yet for the half, with Aleksic out to smother Payne-s snapshot, to the disbelief of the small but enthusiastic home crowd.
The second half started as the first finished, with Aleksic thwarting Payne twice within the first five minutes, coming off his line to deflect the teenager-s attempts and win yet another one-on-one duel.
The longer the game went by without a goal, Perth grew in confidence. A Ludovic Boi snap shot trickled inches wide and Eli Babalj forced Vedran Janjetovic into a sharp save low to his right.
But the young Sky Blues have proven hard to crack this year, and when Babalj snuck in behind Matt Jurman on 62 minutes, the centre-back-s recovery to mow down the striker typified Sydney-s determination.
The hosts had a marvellous chance to score when Scott Neville slipped, opening a 2 on 1 scenario with Mileski playing Bulut into the box. But Perth showed they have no shortage in talented keepers, when replacement Alex Pearson made a terrific stop to tip Bulut-s certain goal around the post.
Janjetovic wasn-t to be outdone between Sydney-s posts and kept his side in the match on 88 minutes, coming out to smother Josh Risdon one-on-one at the near post.
After hanging on for this long, a plucky Perth probably deserved a share of the points, but as the ref looked at his watch Bulut launched a speculative strike, which deflected to the far post where Mileski beat Pearson to the punch to flick the ball home with his head.
Sydney now enjoys a nine point lead at the top of the National Youth League table and will be out to extend its advantage when it travels away to face the last-placed Melbourne Victory in round-12 of the competition next weekend.
Sydney FC 1 (Robbie Mileski 90-+5)
Perth Glory 0
Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Nik TSATTALIOS, 3. Adam BIDDLE, 4. Chris TRIANTIS, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Chris PAYNE (3. Kerim BULUT 58-), 7. Robbie MILESKI, 10. Luke AUSTIN, 11. Kofi DANNING (8. Matthew HALL 60-), 12. Ibrahim HAYDAR, 13. Sam MUNRO (14. Steven LUSTICA 60-).
Substitutes not used: nil.
Yellow Cards: Adam Biddle 31-, Chris Triantis 77- .
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Robbie Mileski 90’+5.
Perth Glory: 1. Dejan ALEKSIC (gk) (40. Alex PEARSON 56-), 6. Dean EVANS, 7. Joshua RISDON, 8. Steven HESKETH (14. Lewis HALL 56-), 9. Hayden DOYLE (5. Liam HARVEY 45+2-), 11. Ludovic BOI, 12. Reece VITTIGLIA (10. Adam LUCA 56-), 15. Scott NEVILLE, 16. Eli BABALJ, 17. Dino DJULBIC (OA), 18. Mark LEE (OA).
Substitutes not used: nil.
Yellow Cards: Dino Djulbic 41-, Scott Neville 78-, Eli Babalj 83-.
Red Cards: nil.
Referee: Gary Vandeburgt.