Sydney FC’s Foxtel National Youth League squad had to battle for a point as they played out a 2-2 draw against Central Coast Mariners at Lambert Park on Sunday.
It was Sydney FC that started the brightest with good opportunities falling to William Mutch and Mani Gonzalez early in the match however they couldn’t find the back of the net.
The woodwork came to the Mariners rescue on two occasions as a low shot by Mutch hit the base of the post and bounced to safety while a Nicola Kuleski header rebounded off the cross bar and out for a goal kick.
Sydney FC's pressure was eventually rewarded however, in the 44th minute when Chris Zuvela set up Mani Gonzalez to slot home from closer range to give the Sky Blues a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Central Coast hit back six minutes after the restart when a clumsy tackle in the box saw a penalty awarded and Josh Bingham made no mistake from the spot kick to level scores.
Only four minutes later Central Coast took the lead against the run of play when Lachlan Wales side footed a loose ball home to make it 2-1.
Sydney FC continued to press forward only to be let down by the final pass in the front third. Decision making and some wayward passing frustrated the Young Sky Blues as the game went into three minutes of added time.
With 92 minutes on the clock Cristian Gonzalez drove into the penalty box and with burst of pace and opened up some space to rifle in a left foot shot inside the back post to make it 2-2 and earn Sydney FC a point.
Sydney FC 2 (Mani Gonzalez 44'; Cristian Gonzalez 92') drew with Central Coast Mariners 2 (Josh Bingham 51'; Lachlan Wales 55')
Lineup: Mitch Evans (GK); Nicola Kuleski (C); Liam McGing; Cristian Gonzalez; Brendan Curtis; Andrea Agamemnonos; Chris Zuvela; Juan Zapata; Mani Gonzalez (John Iredale 59'); Daniel Maskin (Patrick Flottman 59'); William Mutch (Sam McIllhatton 74')
Sub Not Used: Thomas Manos (GK)
At the half way mark of the NYL season Sydney FC are in a three way tie for top spot on the ladder with seven points alongside Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Sydney FC have a bye next week before the Christmas break and will be back in action on Monday, 2 January 2017 when they meet the Wanderers at Lambert Park 5.00pm kick off.
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