Sydney leaves it late

Sydney FC has maintained its winning run in the National Youth League but it took a goal five minutes into injury time from midfielder Robbie Mileski to deny a tenacious Perth Glory a share of the points at Cromer Park in Sydney.

Sydney FC has maintained its winning run in the National Youth League but it took a goal five minutes into injury time from midfielder Robbie Mileski to deny a tenacious Perth Glory a share of the points at Cromer Park in Sydney.

The Sky Blues having lost just once this season looked set to be held to a draw for the first time until the late goal scored with virtually the last kick of the game.

It was a cruel end for the gallant Glory side who rode their luck but battled gamely throughout only to be denied when a Kerim Bulut shot unluckily deflected off Dino Djulbic and onto the head of Mileski.

Sydney was the superior team for the vast majority of the match dominating goalscoring opportunities from virtually the opening whistle.

Dynamic wide midfielder Kofi Danning was prominent early setting up Chris Payne for a headed opportunity on goal and then having his own left foot attempt fly over the crossbar.

Ghana-born Danning created a third opening inside the opening ten minutes with another dazzling run down the left and a shot across the face of the goal.

Conversely the Glory struggled to maintain possession going forward and didn’t make their first foray into the Sydney penalty area until the 15-minute mark.

Striker Adam Biddle forced a near-post save from an acute angle from Glory goalkeeper Dean Aleksic after bursting into the box from the right.

Midway through the opening stanza Payne and Mileski’s interchange of passes set up Biddle, but the latter’s low drive was well kept out by Aleksic for the second time in a matter of minutes.

Payne then hit the post from an awkward angle on the end of a fine run down the right as the home side inched closer to making the breakthrough.

Three minutes before the break Manly local Payne, playing on his former home ground, won the Blues a penalty as he got goal-side of marker Djulbic who bundled the striker over as he charged into the box.

Payne though having won the penalty saw his low effort easily saved by Aleksic.

There was still time for Sydney to break the deadlock before the interval with Payne combining with Mileski but Aleksic again came to the rescue with a smothering close-range save.

The one-way traffic continued immediately after the break with Payne and Aleksic continuing their personal battle with the former again denied by the Glory custodian following a determined run from Mileski.

Incredibly it was the same scenario moments later, this time it was the foot of Aleksic thwarting Payne once again in a one-on-one scenario.

Though replaced in the second half to allow Alex Pearson some game time, Aleksic would have no doubt impressed senior Glory coach David Mitchell who was one of a number of identities in the crowd that also included Socceroos mentor Pim Verbeek.

The Glory started to incrementally force their way into the match with their first real opening finally arriving on the hour mark as Ludovic Boi found some space but screwed his shot narrowly wide for what would have been a sensational scoreline considering the one-way nature of the match.

Glory striker Eli Babalj then gave his side further cause for optimism forcing Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic into a diving save; his first of the match.

Substitute Bulut could have won it for the Blues but Pearson produced an excellent save that appeared to have earnt his side a share of the points until Mileski’s late strike.

Match Details

Sydney FC 1 (Robbie MILESKI 94-)
Perth Glory 0

Saturday 20 December
Cromer Park, 101 South Creek Road, Dee Why
Crowd: 220
Local kick off 10.00am AEDT

Referee: Gary Vandeburgt
Assistant Referees: Stephen Lucas, Adam Weir
Fourth Official: Matthew Gillett

Sydney FC line up: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Nikolas TSATTALIOS 3.Adam BIDDLE, 4.Chris TRIANTIS (c), 5.Matthew JURMAN, 6.Chris Payne (9.Kerim BULUT 57-),7.Robbie MILESKI, 10.Luke AUSTIN, 11.Kofi DANNING (8.Matthew HALL 60-) 12.Ibrahim HAYDAR, 13.Sam MUNRO (14.Steve LUSTICA 60-).

Substitutes not used: Nil.

Yellow cards: Adam BIDDLE 31-, Chris TRIANTIS 77-
Red Cards: Nil.

Perth Glory line up: 1.Dejan ALEKSIC (gk) (40.Alex PEARSON (gk) 55-), 6.Dean EVANS, 7.Joshua RISDON, 8.Steven HESKETH (14.Lewis HALL 55-), 9.Hayden DOYLE (5.Liam HARVEY 45+1-), 11.Ludovic BOI, 12.Reece VITTIGLIA (10.Adam LUCA 55-), 15.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Eli BABALJ, 17.Dino DJULBIC (OA), 18.Mark LEE (OA).

Substitutes not used: Nil.

Yellow cards: Dino DJULBIC 42-, Scott NEVILLE 78-, Eli BABALJ 83-.
Red Cards: Nil.