Sydney close gap at top

Sydney FC have extended their National Youth League winning streak to five games after easily pushing aside a flat Gold Coast United outfit 4-1 at Southport Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

Sydney FC have extended their National Youth League winning streak to five games after easily pushing aside a flat Gold Coast United outfit 4-1 at Southport Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts were never in the game against a Sydney side who were confident, well-organised and energetic, with a brace from Kofi Danning and goals from Blake Powell and Brendan Gan securing a victory that in the process ended United's own run of five wins in a row.

The Sky Blues raced out of the blocks, stunning an unusually flat Gold Coast with an opportunistic double inside the first 10 minutes of the match.

The opener came in fourth minute after a moment's hesitation from Koh Satake saw him turn the ball over in a dangerous position along the byline. Luke Austin was there to pick his pocket and he squared the ball for Powell to apply a simple finish into an empty net.

And three minutes later the lead was doubled with a headed goal from Gan that bounced over United custodian Tim Anderson and into the far corner of the net, putting the hosts two goals behind with the game barely 10 minutes old.

So often have Mike Mulvey's men had things their own way but Sydney were taking the game to the defending NYL champions and they were all at sea as a result, lacking shape, creativity and the general spark that has seen them set up camp at the summit of the table.

For the rest of the half they showed no signs of life and in the shadows of the break, Danning made things even more dire for United with a quality run and goal to make it 3-0 at the break.

Gold Coast had become accustomed to regular comeback victories throughout the season but they needed a miracle and a complete change in tact if they wanted a piece of a game they just weren't switched on for.

The Sky Blues remained disciplined as the second stanza began with United surely praying for either a defensive mistake from the leaders or a piece of individual brilliance to start clawing back the lead.

The former came in the 54th minute as Tahj Minniecon pounced on a bouncing pass that Mitchell Speer lost control of, beating Sydney gloveman Dylan Mitchell to the ball and slotting home his third goal in two games.

But Sydney had a reply four minutes later, as the Gold Coast defence allowed Danning too much time and space to latch onto a cutback for an easy goal that had the hosts back at square one.

From there, United battled hard to work back into the match but for every question they posed of Sydney's defence, the visitors had an answer in a frustrating afternoon for the NYL leaders.

The win closes the gap between second-placed Sydney and first-placed Gold Coast to five points, but United hold a game in hand and remain favourites to take away their second consecutive youth championship.

Gold Coast United 1 (Minniecon 54) Sydney FC 4 (Powell 4, Gan 7, Danning 43, 58) @ Southport Tigers