Sydney FC fell agonisingly short against league leaders the Central Coast, going down 2-1 in the National Youth League.
Sydney FC fell agonisingly short against league leaders the Central Coast, going down 2-1 in the National Youth League at the Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday night.
Despite a wealth of possession and a contentious decision not to award Sydney a penalty late in the match, it was the superior finishing of the Mariners which ultimately proved the difference.
It was the Central Coast who had the better of it early, and it was Adam Kwasnik who got the visitors of the mark.
The goal was set up by a powerful strike from Ahmed Elrich which hammered into the top corner of the right goal post.
The deflection left Kwasnik with a free passage into goal as goalkeeper Nenad Vekic was left with too much work to do following Elrich-s strike.
From there Sydney seemingly had the better of the first half, with numerous corners and shots on goal .
Just as it looked as though this effort would go unrewarded along came newcomer Joseph Gibbs who, in just his second game, fired one from the edge of the box to erase Sydney-s deficit on the stroke of halftime.
The feat was made even better by the fact that he was recovering from a stress fracture in the foot.
“It was good to be back playing football again, I love being out there with the boys,” Gibbs said.
Unfortunately for Sydney though they could not capitalise on this momentum in the second half. Just shy of the hour mark it was substitute Mitchell Mallia who put the Mariners back in front as he curled one into the left hand corner from close range.
From there Sydney threw everything at the Mariners but just couldn-t find the back of the net. On the hour it was Joel Chianese who came agonisingly close to equalling the scores. His strike from just inside the area hammered into the crossbar, the rebound for Sydney though was not as fortunate as it sailed into the stands.
In the 62nd minute it looked as though Sydney were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty as Joel Chianese fell victim to a sliding tackle that appeared to be inside the area.
To the player-s disappointment, referee Hookham disagreed and despite having the better of the chances for the remainder of the match, they were unable to find an equaliser.
Gibbs was philosophical about the loss. “They were too good today. We went alright and it would have been good to get the win, but that-s football,” said Gibbs.
Sydney-s next game is against Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon, a curtain raiser to the team-s A-League clash.
Sydney FC 1 Joseph Gibbs 45+2-
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 Adam Kwasnik 7-, Mitchell Mallia 56-
Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Nenad Vekic (gk), 3. Mitchell Speer (2. Steven Tibbetts 61-), 4. Joseph Gibbs, 7. Dimitrios Petratos, 8. Antony Golec (c) (5. Sam Gallagher 61-), 9. Matthew Jurman, 11. Iain Ramsay (6. Sam Munro 57-), 13. Joel Chianese, 14. Tim McGowan, 15. Raymond Miller, 17. Luke Austin.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Mark Pullman (gk).
Yellow Cards: 8. Antony Golec 55-, 14. Tim McGowan 81-, 9. Matthew Jurman 81-
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 4. Joseph Gibbs 45+2-
Central Coast Mariners FC Line-up: 1. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 2. Nathan Sherlock, 3. Jerry Kalouris, 6. Emmanuel Giannaros, 8. Nicholas Fitzgerald (11. Mitchell Mallia 54-), 9. Adam Kwasnik, 10. Panagiotis Nikas (c), 12. Andrew Clark (5. Luka Dukic 46-), 14. Brady Smith (7. Brendan Griffin 62-), 17. Matthew Lewis, 18. Ahmed Elrich.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Nikodin Matic (gk).
Yellow Cards:17. Matthew Lewis 71-, 10. Panagiotis Nikas 74-, 6. Emmanuel Giannaros 90+1-
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 9. Adam Kwasnik 7-, 11. Mitchell Mallia 56-
Referee: Brett HOOKHAM
At the Sydney Football Stadium.