Sydney FC Academy faced off against Central Coast Mariners Academy in an intense match at Pluim Park on Sunday afternoon but found the going tough.
The game started off with Sydney FC struggling to find their rhythm, allowing Central Coast Mariners to take control. The Mariners capitalised on their dominance and managed to find the back of the net, taking a 1-0 lead in the first half.
However, the second half saw a significant improvement in Sydney FC’s performance. They took control of the game and looked threatening in their attacks. Despite their improved play, Sydney FC suffered a setback when they conceded a second goal due to a turnover, falling behind 0-2.
Despite the scoreline, Sydney FC showed great resilience and determination. They were awarded a penalty thanks to the efforts of Louis Agosti, and Alen Harbas successfully converted it, bringing the scoreline to 2-1 with minutes to play.
It is worth noting that the team had to deal with the absence of several key players due to the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s annual leave and the Australian U17 Joeys commitments of which their quarter final is tonight against Japan. This situation provided a valuable opportunity for the younger players in the program to step up and showcase their talents.
One notable debutant was Lachlan Middleton, an U17 midfielder, who made his NPL debut as a halftime substitute in the midfield. His inclusion brought energy and a fresh perspective to the team.
Another debutant was Jacob McLachlan, an U17 left back, who also made his NPL debut in the second half. His presence added depth to the team’s defensive line and displayed his potential as a promising young talent.
Amidst the player unavailability, Hayden Matthews, an U19 centre back, and Louis Agosti, an U18 central midfielder, delivered solid performances. Their contributions were instrumental in Sydney FC’s second-half resurgence and showcased their maturity and skill on the field.
Head Coach Jimmy van Weeren told NPL NSW that he knows his side need to do better but results are not the end goal.
“For us, it’s about developing individual players, and we hope to win some games along the way.”
While the match ended in a 2-1 defeat for Sydney FC Academy, the second-half display highlighted the team’s fighting spirit and the promising talent within their ranks. The Sky Blues will look to bounce back next week when they take on Sydney United.
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