Sydney FC’s Foxtel National Youth League squad demolished the Singapore U21 national team 4 – 0 in the International Newspaper Cup in Can Tho, Vietnam on Saturday.
Looking to finish the tournament on a good note the young Sky Blues made their intentions known from the outset as Max Burgess blazed over the bar from inside the box after only a few minutes. The Malaysians didn’t help their cause when they had their right fullback sent off after just 10 minutes on the clock for abusing the 4th official.
Sydney FC capitalised soon after, following a barrage of pressure from consecutive corner kicks. From one of these corners Cristian Gonzalez sent over a delightful delivery for George Blackwood to rise above the defence and head in the opening goal and put Sydney ahead 1-0.
The intensity continued and in the 22nd minute Burgess played a defence splitting ball into the path of Bai Antoniou. The striker surged into the penalty area and just as he was about to pull the trigger he was brought down and a penalty was awarded.
Antoniou brushed himself off and stepped up to slot home the spot kick sending the keeper the wrong way to increase the Sky Blues’ lead. The former AIS graduate almost had a brace when a few minutes later he volleyed from a wide angle only to see the keeper make a last ditch save with his feet onto the post.
Just as half time was approaching the ball was played into Lachlan Scott who checked his marker, turned and unleashed a blistering shot across the goal and into the far top corner and Sydney headed to the break leading 3 – 0.
The 2nd period saw Sydney FC continue to dominate and play a possession based game. They constantly found space between the lines and penetrated on the outside of the Singapore back four and if not for some wayward finishing the scoreline could have been doubled.
Antoniou proved to be a constant threat and he was denied a second goal by a desperate clearance off the line after he had chipped the on rushing keeper.
Centre back, Caio De Godoy, crashed a header against the post in the 64th minute and Burgess had a point blank effort somehow parried away by the keeper. Midfield substitute Daniel Araujo sent his shot sailing over the bar after some excellent lead up work from Dylan Caton.
The fourth goal eventfully came in the 62nd minute when John Grozdanovski was on the spot to side foot home his first goal of the tournament and wrap up the 4 – 0 scoreline.
Head Coach Steve Corica again praised the efforts of his players having defeated two national teams in the tournament.
“We had a very young side on the park today with an average age of 17 years which included three 16 year olds in Luke Babic, Jordan Gomez and Caio De Godoy” he said.
“Theses matches against top national teams are a fantastic preparation for our domestic season and great player development.
“Every player stepped up throughout the tournament and it shows me that we have great depth in our squad which augurs well for our season in the Foxtel National Youth League back home” he added.
The next Sydney FC NYL match will be the Round 3 clash against Central Coast Mariners on Monday, 3rd November at Lambert Park, 6.00pm kick off and entry is free.