Youth fall 2-1 to Adelaide

Adelaide United ground out a 2-1 victory over Sydney FC in the National Youth League in sweltering conditions that saw the mercury reach 37C at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.

Adelaide United ground out a 2-1 victory over Sydney FC in the National Youth League in sweltering conditions that saw the mercury reach 37C at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.

The conditions played their part, zapping the speed and energy out of the match as the two sides struggled to deal with the extreme heat, while the referee permitted a drinks break every quarter-hour.

Evan Kostopoulos tested Sydney keeper Aaron Liddell as early as the fourth minute after earning a free kick on the edge of the area.

The striker hit low and hard but Liddell managed to parry the ball to safety.

Kostopoulos continued to link up with Perry Mitris and Brett Rayner but the Baby Reds lacked the cutting edge to finish their chances.

Just before the half-hour Mitris had a shot blocked on the goal-line after a defensive mix up in the Sydney penalty area where the Sky Blues clearance was heading for the touch line but managed to stay in play.

Mitris shot on the turn but it was kept out by a sea of bodies.

Full back Brad Norton was next to go close for United five minutes before the break, with his header from a Rayner corner bringing out the best of Liddell.

A minute later and the Baby Reds were in front with captain Matt Mullen converting a spot kick after Kostopoulos was brought down by the Sydney keeper.

Mullen took two efforts after he was ordered to retake his first successful spot kick and coolly dispatched the second.

Within the opening minute of the second half Rayner could have doubled United-s lead when he latched on to a long ball and tried to chip Liddell from 30m out, but his first-time half-volley struck the bar.

From the resulting fast break the visitors stole an equaliser through substitute Tomi Cirjak.

Cirjak received the ball from Blake Powell who squared it across the edge of the area, before baulking his defender and slotting it into the bottom corner past substitute keeper Luke Ostbye.

Ten minutes later and the Baby Reds were back in front after a lovely finish from Kostopoulos.

Norton whipped in a cross from the left and the United No.10 got his boot to ball and flicked it past Liddell.

Substitute Jackson Groves almost grabbed a third for the Baby Reds in the dying minutes when he skipped past a couple of Sydney defenders.

Groves sped into the box and pulled the trigger but his shot was blocked and easily collected by Liddell.