Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC did enough to stay top of their respective conferences as the Y-League moved past the halfway point of the 2019/20 season last weekend - Brisbane thumping Adelaide and Sydney surviving a scare against Canberra. Just how much, though, does a win in the Y-League mean?
Melbourne City Youth 1-3 Melbourne Victory
Melbourne City’s winless start to the 2019/20 season continued on Sunday afternoon after cross-town foes Melbourne Victory punished some lax defending to claim youth Melbourne Derby bragging rights.
A thunderbolt from outside the box on the right-wing by Lleyton Brooks opened the scoring for the side in navy blue in just the second minute of play, before City striker Moudi Najjar levelled things up an angled, but much closer, effort in the seventh.
Parity, however, was only to last a little over ten minutes, as Victory punished some haphazard defending in getting the ball to the byline on the right flank and cut it back into the area for former-City prospect Josh Varga to fire home.
A calamitous mixup up the back by City in the 59th minute, when an attempted pass out from the back was intercepted inside the penalty area by their rivals, eventually allowed Brandon Lauton to seal the win and send Victory to second place on the Conference A table.
Canberra United 2-2 Sydney FC
Conference B table-toppers Sydney FC travelled to the nation’s capital on Sunday afternoon for the weekend’s final game, likely operating under the assumption that the coming meeting with a Canberra side that had only earned a single point since the beginning of the 2018/19 season would be a regulation one.
Yet, reality was waiting to give them a wake-up call as the hosts, after absorbing some early pressure, took the lead in the 23rd minute of play after Nikola Ujdur buried a shot in the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0.
A near-post finish from Jaiden Kucharski tied things up at 1-1 in the 34th minute of play, only for the side in green to once again to get their noses in front in the 42nd minute when Luca Florez got in behind the Harboursider back four and chipped Levi Kaye.
On the wrong end an unexpected deficit heading to the rooms, Sydney FC was nonetheless able to rally and restore the game to equilibrium in the 49th minute when Young Socceroo Marco Tilio followed up a Kucharski effort off the post and tucked it home.
Though both sides would have chances to win it, that is how the contest would end – Sydney remaining on top of their conference and Canberra taking their first point for the season.
Central Coast Mariners 2-2 Newcastle Jets
Originally scheduled to take place in round four, hazardous air quality conditions due to the ongoing bushfire crises in NSW resulted in the youth F3 derby being moved to Tuesday night at Plium Park.
Former Goulburn Valley Suns youth player Alou Kuol quickly moved to make up for lost time once the action did get underway, the now-Mariners attacker getting amongst the best of the Mariners chances early before converting a penalty in the 27th minute to give his new side a 1-0 lead.
The Jets, though, were able to answer back before halftime when Kosta Petratos was able to get to his head onto a ball floated into the penalty area.
Taking the momentum from that goal, the Jets then took the lead just four minutes into the second half when Lucas Mauragis pounced upon a loose ball in the Mariners area and steer it into the back of the net.
But more action was still to come, as a Jordan Smylie run past three defenders and one-two with Kuol sprung the young Mariner through to fire past Jets’ keeper Jacob Italiano and make it 2-2.
Kuol had three chances to win it late for his side but, alas for the boys from Gosford, none of his efforts were able to find paydirt.