The Sydney FC NYL team were back in competition following a three week Asian Cup break to take on Melbourne City at Morshead Park, Ballarat on Saturday.The long trip, flight to Melbourne and 90 minutes bus ride to Ballarat, seemed to take it's toll early as the young Sky Blues struggled in the opening stages of the game.
Eventually Sydney settled and probably created the best chance of the half as George Blackwood rolled his defender out wide and cut along the goal line before cutting to ball back to an unmarked Jordan Tsekenis who blazed his shot over the bar from close range on the 26 minute mark.
Just past the half hour Max Burgess flicked a Crsitian Gonzalez free kick into the back of the net for what seemed like the opener only to be denied by the linesman's flag in a very close offside call.
Good build up play by the Sky Blues found Bai Antniou free inside the box but he too put his shot high and wide as the teams headed to the sheds locked at 0-0.
The arm wrestle continued after the break and it was Melbourne City that took the advantage when Sydney FC failed to clear their defensive third and were punished with a tap in on the far post for City to lead 1-0 after 60 minutes.
Second half substitute Charles Lokolingoy made an impact just 7 minutes after coming on when slotted home a Gonzalez corner kick to draw the Sky Blues level at 1-1 with 75 minutes played. Lokolingoy then had an opportunity to put Sydney ahead just 5 minutes later when the ball fell to him following a smothered shot from Blackwood but he placed his effort into the side netting and City were let off the hook.
With 90 minutes played the officials indicated 4 minutes of added time and there was to be late drama when with barely 15 seconds of play left the referee awarded a dubious penalty to Melbourne City which was duly converted to snatch the three points 2-1.
Sydney FC 1 (Charles Lokolingoy 1) lost to Melbourne City 2 (Wade Dekker 1; Hernan Espindola)
SFC - Luke Babic; Dylan Caton; Liam McGing; Themba Muata-Marlow; Cristian Gonzalez; Hagi Gligor (Nicola Kuleski 82'); Max Burgess; Daniel Araujo (Anthony Tomelic 56'); Bai Antoniou; George Blackwood; Jordan Tsekenis (Charles Lokolingoy 68')
Sub Not Used: Matthew Symes (GK)
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