The Sydney FC Academy faced a tough test on Sunday afternoon when they travelled to face Western Sydney Wanderers Academy at Fairfield Showground and unfortunately fell in a tight and heated contest.
With Wanderers fighting to stay in the NPL, they fielded a very strong side with nine registered Isuzu UTE A-League players in their squad compared to the zero that the Sky Blues had.
Sydney FC First Team were playing Newcastle Jets at the same time at Sky Park with a number of regular Academy players getting minutes such as Mitch Glasson, Matty Scarcella and Zac De Jesus, so the Sydney FC Academy were forced to name yet another young side with an average age of 18. Overall, 10 regulars were missing from the squad.
The Wanderers had their fair share of chances in the opening 45 and took the lead before early in the second stanza, the Sky Blues were reduced to ten due to a second yellow.
They fought hard while down to ten men and created some chances with U17’s Jacob Brazete & Lachlan Middleton working hard despite the deficit. The hosts were also reduced to ten men in the second half and with both teams even, they scored their second of the afternoon.
Fighting for a grip in the game, Sydney FC’s Louis Agosti capitalised on the loose ball and made it a one goal game with less than ten minutes to go.
With some more excellent defending from U19’s Hayden Matthews, the Sky Blues rallied going forward but couldn’t find a way through to goal again and the match finished 2-1.
Sydney FC coach Jimmy van Weeren conceded his side had a disappointing showing in the first half but saw the positives in the late comeback.
“It was a fair result, especially in the first half they were the dominant team and you could see they were a lot older than us but for us, that’s no excuse, they were the better team and we have to learn from that,” he said.
“That showed the character of the group that we competed with ten men and created chances, the challenge for us is how we get that out consistently but there was some positive signs, especially in the second half,” he added.
“With relegation now out of the picture, this gives us the perfect opportunity to expose more young players to the NPL environment which we will continue to do for the remainder of the season.”
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Featured Image: Image: Adam Cavenor (@adamcavenor)