Young Sky Blues Downed In Cup Opener

Sydney FC NYL went down 2-1 in their opening game of the U21 International Newspaper Cup in Can Tho, Vietnam on Sunday night.

In humid and steamy conditions the young Sky Blues started the match confidently and pressured their opponents from the outset.

Several good efforts on goal from John Grozdanovski and Max Burgess tested the Malaysian keeper early but desperate defence kept Sydney FC at bay.

George Blackwood went close with a header just over the bar but it only delayed the inevitable when Sydney took the lead after 21 minutes when Cristian Gonzalez made an overlapping run down the left and crossed the ball into box. Anthony Tomelic flicked on a header to Blackwood who made no mistake from close range for a well deserved 1-0 lead which the Sky Blues took into break.

The second half saw the Sky Blues continue their dominance as Themba Muata-Marlow headed the ball into the back of the net from a corner kick but was deemed to have fouled the keeper in the process. The Malaysians capitalised on the reprieve and within two minutes drew level with a quickly taken free kick catching out the defence with an unmarked forward heading in to equalise after 65 minutes.

The injection of James Andrew almost paid immediate dividends as he burst through the centre only to see his shot saved by the keeper before Tomelic blazed his shot just wide of the post with the goals at his mercy minutes later.

Another quick transition in the 85th minute by Malaysia sprung open the Sydney FC back line and as Andrew Depta advanced off his line to reduce the angle the striker deftly chipped over the Sky Blues keeper into the back of the net to put Malaysia in the lead.

Sydney FC pressed in the final minutes searching for an equaliser as the Malaysian side ran down the clock with a spate of injuries until the final whistle.

Sydney FC NYL 1 (Blackwood 21') defeated by Malaysia U21 2

Line Up: Andrew Depta; Darcy Madden; Jacob Tratt; Themba Muata-Marlow; Cristian Gonzalez; Dylan Caton; Anthony Tomelic; Max Burgess (Chris Zuvela); Jordan Tsekenis (James Andrew); George Blackwood; John Grozdanovski (Lachlan Scott)

Subs Not Used: Jordan Gomez; Bai Antoniou; Liam McGing; Daniel Araujo; Caio De Godoy; Luke Babic