Sydney FC NYL opened their season account with a hard fought 2-1 win against Central Coast Mariners at the Centre of Excellence in Tuggerah on Saturday.
The Sky Blues started well in the opening stanza of the match with George Blackwood having two good scoring opportunities only to be thwarted by the Mariners keeper both times.
Forward Charles Lokolingoy was also causing havoc down the right flank as he burst into the penalty area and shot from an acute angle only to see his effort pushed around the post by the keeper, Thomas Heward-Belle.
The ensuing corner kick was delivered into the mix and fell to the feet of Aaron Calver who blasted home the opener to give Sydney a 1-0 lead after 32 minutes.
A few minutes later and another corner kick was sent in with precision and this time a strong challenge between Lokolingoy and a Mariners defender saw the ball ricochet into the back of the net for an own goal and Sydney looked comfortable at 2-0.
The Mariners came out firing in the second half and pulled a goal back in the 47th minute when the young Sky Blues were caught on the counter as Lachlan Wales converted to make it 2-1.
Sydney had to absorb some determined pressure from the Central Coast side who were well marshalled by their skipper Matt Sims.
Anthony Bouzanis and George Timotheou were solid at the back along with Alex Gersbach and Nicolo Kuleski to repel the Mariners attacks.
Alex Mullen sent a screamer that seemed destined for the back of the net only for Heward-Belle to again come to the Mariners rescue and tip it around the post.
In the end Sydney were able to hold on for a 2–1 victory and a well earned three points.
The youngsters have a bye next week in Round 2 and resume in Round 3 with a derby game against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday 22 November 8.15pm (AEDT) kick off at Lambert Park (following the W-League fixture).
Sydney FC 2 (Calver 32′; Papadimitrios own goal 38′) defeated Central Coast Mariners 1 (Wales 47′)
Sydney FC Line Up: Anthony Bouzanis; Nicola Kuleski; Aaron Calver; George Timotheou; Alex Gersbach (Cristian Gonzalez 75′); Yianni Spyrakis; Alex Mullen (Daniel Araujo 83′); Max Burgess; Robert Stambolziev; George Blackwood; Charles Lokolingoy (Bai Antoniou 55′).
Subs not used: Nick Sorras (GK)