After being handed a reality check against the unfancied Melbourne Victory and narrowly avoiding their first loss, Sydney FC’s young guns have set themselves the ambitious goal of taking this season’s National Youth League title without tasting defeat.
After being handed a reality check against the unfancied Melbourne Victory and narrowly avoiding their first loss, Sydney FC-s young guns have set themselves the ambitious goal of taking this season-s National Youth League title without tasting defeat.
Sydney-s young stars travelled to Melbourne full of confidence with three good wins under their belts but found themselves behind on the scoreboard at half time in the round 5 contest, and in a real battle to secure their fourth win on the trot.
“It was a bit shaky to begin with because we didn-t start very well,” said Sydney saviour, Kofi Danning. “We went into the game thinking the Victory weren-t that strong and didn-t play as well as we had been and we almost paid the price.”
The young Sky Blues were clear favourites against Melbourne, despite playing away from home, but they were a long way from victory after Steve Pantelidis headed the hosts to a well deserved advantage after 22 minutes of play.
FC showed signs of recovery heading towards half time, but it was the introduction of Danning off the substitutes bench on the hour that swung the momentum back the visitor-s way.
Less than 10 minutes after taking the field the Canberra striker fired his side back onto level terms from distance, and the AIS recruit sealed the points for Sydney with a second finish late in the game.
“When I came off the bench I wanted I to prove myself and I did have an impact on the game, so I was happy, it was really satisfying,” said the two goal hero.
After almost paying the price for their early complacency the young Sydney stars say they-ve heeded the wake-up call and are ready to host the Central Coast this Saturday.
“It was a big wake-up call because whenever you take teams for granted they can hurt you, and that-s what they (Victory) almost did,” said Danning. “I think if we go in with the same mentality we took in against Melbourne we might struggle but I-m sure we-ll have a different attitude and we-ll turn up ready to play.”
Sydney FC-s Youth League outing against the Mariners kicks-off at 4:15pm and will be the curtain raiser to the Sky Blues- Hyundai A-League clash with the Central Coast.
One ticket provides entry to both games and gates open at the Sydney Football Stadium at 4pm.
Sydney FC 2 (Kofi Danning 69- 85-)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Steve Pantelidis 22-)
Melbourne Victory: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 3.Daniel VASILEVSKI (OA) (2.Robbie WYNNE 46-), 4.Matthew FOSCHINI (13.Damir LOKVANCIC 62-), 5.Fabio DI LIZIA (4.Matthew FOSCHINI 75-), 6.Cameron DRAKE, 7.Aziz BEHICH, 9.Mathew THEODORE (8.Stephen HATZIKOSTAS 62-), 10.Leigh BROXHAM, 11.Dimitri HATZIMOURATIS, 12.Steve PANTELIDIS (OA), 14.Steven PACE (OA)
Substitutes not used: 20.Mijo MARINOVIC (gk)
Yellow cards: Dimitri Hatzimouratis 24-, Fabio Di Lizia 31-, Steve Pantelidis 46-
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Rhyan GRANT, 3.Adam BIDDLE, 4.Chris TRIANTIS, 5.Bobby PETTA (11.Kofi DANNING 61-), 6.Chris PAYNE, 7.Robbie MILESKI (13.Kearyn BACCUS 61-), 8.Shannon COLE (16.Mark WARREN 61-), 10.Zach CAIRNCROSS, 12.Ibrahim HAYDAR, 14.Brendan GAN
Substitutes not used: Nil
Yellow cards: Robbie Mileski 51, Ibrahim Haydar 89-, Kearyn Baccus 92-
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Kevin Docherty