Mallia strikes in 1-1 draw with Jets

Mitch Mallia continued the good pre season form of the Sydney FC strikers with a second half equaliser as the Sky Blues drew 1-1 with Newcastle Jets in a friendly at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Mitch Mallia continued the good pre season form of the Sydney FC strikers with a second half equaliser as the Sky Blues drew 1-1 with Newcastle Jets in a friendly at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Mallia scored with a neat far post header from a corner, following his strike against Adelaide United last weekend and the scoring feats of Yairo Yau, Kruno Lovrek and Joel Chianese, who have all found the back of the net in pre season clashes.

Sydney FC once again went into the game minus several stars with Kruno Lovrek, Yairo Yau, Alessandro Del Piero, Adam Griffiths, Pascal Bosschaart, Joel Chianese and Terry Antonis missing through injury, international duty and unavailability.

Marque midfielder Brett Emerton, Nathan Sherlock and Blake Powell made their first appearances of the pre season while youngsters Mallia, Dimi Petratos, Rhyan Grant and Powell were handed an early chance to impress from the kick off.

The match was a free-flowing affair with both sides taking advantage of the long Leichhardt Oval pitch. Mallia and Ali Abbas in particular looked dangerous going forward while it took some great defence from Sky Blues defender Fabio to snuff out several early Newcastle chances.

The deadlock was broken in the 30th minute when Ruben Zadkovich curled a free kick over the wall from the edge of the penalty area, giving Ivan Necevski no chance between the sticks.

Newcastle took the 1-0 lead into the break with the Sky Blues making a single change at half time as NYL player Chris Naumoff was given some game time in place of Powell.

Naumoff came close to levelling the scores in the 60th minute when a sweetly hit shot from the left was cleared off the line by Newcastle defender Josh Mitchell but the home fans didn-t have to wait long to celebrate.

From the ensuing corner the Sky Blues levelled the game at 1-1 when Mallia leapt high at the far post to head home an inch-perfect Petratos delivery.

The equaliser also saw the introduction of Emerton, who made a welcome return to the pitch after undergoing off season ankle surgery, slotting into a central midfield role during an impressive 30 minute display.

Both sides made several changes in the final 20 minutes and it was Sydney FC who finished the strongest. The best chance fell to another Sydney FC youngster but Nick Taneski headed the ball over the crossbar from an Ali Abbas cross in the 86th minute.

Sydney FC will now head north next weekend for a friendly clash with Brisbane Roar in Mackay on Sunday.

Sydney FC 1 (Mitch Mallia 61) drew Newcastle Jets 1 (Zadkovich 30) Leichhardt Oval Referee: Strebre Delovski Crowd: About 2000

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski, 2. Sebastian Ryall (5. Nathan Sherlock ‘61), 3. Fabio (16. Tom Slater ‘61), 11. Dimi Petratos, 12. Blake Powell (6. Chris Naumoff ‘46), 14. Mitch Mallia (17. Nick Taneski ‘68), 15. Terry McFlynn (c) (24. Zac Nicholas ‘68), 18. Trent McClenahan, 21. Paul Reid (7. Brett Emerton ‘61), 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Rhyan Grant. Sub not used: 20. Vedran Janjetovic.

Newcastle Jets: 20. Mark Birighitti (1. Ben Kennedy ‘46), 2. Dominik Ritter (13. Sam Gallaway ‘61), 4. Joshua Mitchell (3. Taylor Regan ‘75), 5. Craig Goodwin, 6. Ben Kantarovski (Jacob Pepper ‘46), 7. Marko Jesic (10. Bernardo Ribeiro ‘46), 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Ryan Griffiths (19. Michael Bridges ‘75), 11. James Virgili, 15. Scott Neville (12. Joshua Brilliante ;75), 16. Jobe Wheelhouse (c) (24. Mitchell Oxborrow ‘75)

The remaining pre season program is: Sun 16 Sep Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC Virgin Australia Stadium, Mackay time tbc Sat 22 Sep Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Budgewoi Sports Complex 2.00pm

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