Sydney FC’s Foxtel National Youth League side claimed a thrilling 4-3 win over the Newcastle Jets at Lambert Park, Leichhardt on Sunday.
Goals to Charles Lokolingoy, William Mutch, Chris Arditti and Bai Antoniou saw Sydney FC come from behind three times to earn the points.
Hesitant opening exchanges in the first half sprung to life after 20 minutes as Nicola Kuleski and Lokolingoy both saw chances go begging before the Jets took the lead on the half hour mark as Harrison Sawyer headed home a Jets free kick.
The Sky Blues searched for an immediate reply as Lokolingoy saw an effort saved while Chris Zuvela rattled the post with an acrobatic effort, before Lokolingoy restored parity two minutes from the break as the big striker headed home Cristian Gonzalez’s cross from the byline.
The Jets started the brighter after the restart, with Sawyer hooking a corner wide early in the piece, as the Jets forward grabbed his second goal in the 53rd minute, tapping home following a goalmouth scramble off a corner.
A series of subs for both sides just beyond the hour mark changed the dynamic of both teams, and it was Sydney FC who profited as William Mutch nabbed the equaliser in the 65th minute, blasting home a rebounded ball following a save from Lokolingoy’s earlier shot.
The scoreline didn’t last long however, as one minute later the Jets won a penalty, with Sawyer earning his hattrick as he fired the spot kick down the middle with Thomas Manos in goals getting a hand to the shot.
10 minutes later and the scores were level again with Sydney FC scoring their third of the match through Chris Arditti as he capitalised on Bai Antoniou’s cut back to sweep home from inside the area.
The final 15 minutes were frenetic as the Sky Blues took a foothold on the match, pressing for a winner, and the winner came in the 92nd minute through winger Bai Antoniou.
Great build up play outside the area saw Bai Antoniou released into the box, with the winger beating his marker before unleashing a powerful low effort into the net on the angle to spark jubilant scenes of celebration with the fans.
Some dogged defending in the remaining minutes from the Sky Blues kept the Jets at bay as the referee’s full time whistle sounded to round out a thrilling Round 9 match.
The win for the Sky Blues sees them one point away from reaching their second consecutive Foxtel National Youth League Grand Final, with a clash against the Central Coast Mariners away to come in the final round next Saturday (kick off 4pm).
Sydney FC Lineup: 20. Thomas MANOS (gk), 4. George TIMOTHEOU (69’ 2. Brendan CURTIS), 6. Nicola KULESKI, 7. Daniel MASKIN (64’ 9. Bai ANTONIOU), 11. Christopher ARDITTI, 12. Charles LOKOLINGOY (87’ 8. Juan ZAPATA), 13. Liam MCGING, 14. Cristian GONZALEZ, 16. William MUTCH, 17. Chris ZUVELA, 21. Andrea AGAMEMNONOS.
Subs not used: 1. Mitch EVANS (gk).
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