A stoppage time goal to emerging striker Christopher Naumoff has given Sydney FC a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Cromer Park.
A stoppage time goal to emerging striker Christopher Naumoff has given Sydney FC a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Cromer Park on Sunday and the perfect start to their National Youth League season.
A scrappy and hard-fought derby looked set to finish goalless as both sides wasted a handful of scoring chances throughout the 90 minutes.
But in a stunning finish the Sky Blues produced one final opportunity and Naumoff made it count.
The youngster, who was an unused substitute in the A-League derby on Saturday night, was in the right place at the right time to side-foot past Blake Tuxford after Nikola Taneski's initial shot was blocked.
It was a cruel blow to the Wanderers who despite being out-played in the first half certainly dominated after the break.
Prior to the late drama the visitors went closest to snatching a win when Sean Symons' volley cannoned back off the crossbar 17 minutes from time.
But it wasn't to be and the young Sky Blues get one back on their local rivals after the Wanderers' 2-0 A-League win 24 hours earlier.
It was the Sydney who started on the front foot and they created the first chance inside three minutes.
Skipper Blake Powell got free down the right and his cut-back made its way to Alex Urosevski, who swivelled and got a deflected shot away which dribbled just wide of Thomas Manos' post.
Despite enjoy large chunks of possession Sydney were finding it hard to penetrate the well-organised Wanderers defence but carved out the next best chance midway through the half.
Powell was again involved this time picking out a run into the box from Jacob Tratt, but the right-back's shot from an acute angle could only find the side-netting.
The visitors then produced the best move of the half to manufacture their first chance.
Shayne D'Cunha, Lawrence Ho and Mark Cindric were all involved, with the latter's cross-field pass finding Jaushua Sotirio free on the left.
The pacy winger bore down on goal but Sydney 'keeper Anthony Bouzanis was quickly off his line to block the shot away to safety.
Naumoff also went close 10 minutes before the break but he shot straight at Manos from just inside the area.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with plenty of neat passing from both sides in the middle of the field but not much in terms of goal-mouth action.
A positional change at half-time saw Symons get further forward for the Wanderers and it was his cross that almost helped get the visitors in front.
Symons picked out Cindric in the middle but the hard-working striker just couldn't get enough on his header, with the ball spooning up comfortably for Bouzanis.
But Symons continued to look the most likely and he was terribly unlucky not to make the breakthrough 17 minutes from time.
After the ball bounced up perfectly for him on the edge of the box, he hit a left-foot volley which dipped and swerved in the air, with Bouzanis pushing it onto the crossbar and out for a corner.
When Tuxford denied both Taneski and Naumoff within a couple of minutes late on it appeared like the points would be shared before the latter popped up with the last-gasp winner.
Sydney FC 1 (Naumoff 90+2) Western Sydney Wanderers 0 @ Cromer Park