Sydney youth downs Roar
Sydney has cruised to a comfortable 2-1 victory over the Brisbane Roar in a wet National Youth League clash at Ballymore stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Sydney has cruised to a comfortable 2-1 victory over the Brisbane Roar in a wet National Youth League clash at Ballymore Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Brisbane came into the game in second-last place on the ladder and from the outset looked outmatched by their southern rivals.
Sydney scored its goals early in both halves, and with the likes of Brendan Gan and Iain Ramsay playing beautifully, the three points never looked in danger, despite a last-minute goal to the Roar courtesy of Tim Smits.
The away side got the game started and immediately looked dangerous in getting the ball wide and firing crosses into the area.
The Roar found a little composure and soon had Sydney on the back foot with a pair of corners, the second of which resulted in a shot from Stefan Vrbesic flying just over the crossbar.
However, the momentum quickly swung back to the visitors. After falling victim to the offside trap a number of times in the opening exchanges, Sydney broke through when Justin Hayward latched onto a low cross from Ramsay to give the Sky Blues the lead.
With one goal in the net Sydney appeared to lift a gear and Gan was the next to work Brisbane goalkeeper Matthew Acton with an on-target header moments later.
The young Brisbane side appeared rattled by the pressure of Sydney's attack and turnovers in the middle allowed its opposition to continue to dominate.
The onslaught continued and minutes later only a furious scramble from Brisbane's back line, and some assistance from the woodwork, managed to keep out a pair of hopeful shots from Gan and Hayward.
Brisbane began to show some resolve towards the end of the second half and managed to hold some possession in Sydney's half for the first time in the match.
Isaka Cernak seemed determined to set an example for his team mates; the roving midfielder showed no hesitation in firing a shot from well outside the 18-yard box, which took a deflection to give the Roar a corner.
Tyler Thurtell then found some space on the left hand flank and slid in a cross only for Smits' effort with the head to fly high and wide.
After a rare quiet period Sydney was back on the attack; first with Adam Casey finding space to fire a firm shot into the hands of Acton and then with Sam Munro attempting an ambitious volley when a clearing header from Dougall found him unmarked at the top of the area.
With the first stanza winding down, Brisbane had the best of its opportunities with Dougall and Vrbesic each having solid attempts from inside the area blocked by Sydney defenders.
As the second half began, Sydney made its first change bringing on Mitchell Speer at centre-back in place of Hayden Foxe.
Sydney started where it left off and soon had its second goal from, with Ramsay netting his second goal in two weeks.
Gan set the goal up with a lovely chip over the Brisbane backline for Ramsay to run onto; Acton managed to keep out the first attempt but had no way of stopping Ramsay-s follow up effort.
At 2-0 down Roar coach Rado Vidosic made his first change, allowing Joshua McVey to make his return from injury at the expense of Stefan Vrbesic.
McVey was quickly in the thick of things, showing intent by taking on the Sydney defence to make space for a pair of unsuccessful shots at the top of the penalty area.
With the game slowly but surely slipping away, Brisbane made its last two changes bringing on Antony Schiavo for Alistair Quinn and Albert Edward for Tyler Thurtell; meanwhile Sydney gave its first goal scorer Hayward an early rest, bringing Joseph Gibbs into the game.
Soon after the changes, Sydney was back on the attack and goalkeeper Acton was required to bravely throw himself at the feet of a flying Gan to defuse the raid. The collision left Acton a little worse for wear and the Brisbane gloveman hobbled behind the baseline to vomit before action resumed.
Ramsay was soon looking for his second of the match, the electric Sydney forward showed clever footwork to create a chance, which flew just wide.
With Brisbane unable to create any real penetration, and Sydney feeling as though it had the game in the bag, the match looked set to fizzle out until a Bratten-inspired attacking raid allowed Smits to bang one in for the Roar off the underside of the crossbar in the final minutes of the game.