Sydney finish NYL season on a high
Sydney FC have finished their National Youth League campaign strongly with a 3-0 away win against Melbourne Heart at Epping Stadium on Saturday.
Theo Kofinas and Mitch Mallia gave the Sky Blues a first-half lead before Heart substitute keeper Marko Stevanja scored an unfortunate own goal at the death.
The game was played in steamy conditions which sapped the energy out of both sides as the second half wore on.
Heart had the better of the opening minutes until Sydney winger Alec Urosevki cut inside from the right and curled a shot onto the crossbar after 10 minutes.
Six minutes later with an unnecessary foul conceded in the danger area by Heart, the Sky Blues took the lead as Kofinas curled a low free kick in the bottom corner after a slight deflection of the wall.
After Heart captain Josh Groenwaldt fresh aired a tap-in, Sydney doubled their advantage in the 33rd minute when Jarrad Kyle released Mallia, who took two efforts to beat Heart keeper Chris Maynard.
Sydney took their lead into the break and should have made it three just after the restart when Maynard made a superb full stretch save to deny Kyle as he streamed through on goal.
There was a way back into the game for Heart on 55 minutes but Stefan Mauk slammed his shot over the bar in a one-on-one chance against Sky Blues' keeper Anthony Bouzanis.
Maynard again kept his side in with a chance three minutes later as he acrobatically tipped substitute Jordan Figon's drive over the bar.
Heart gave young keeper Stevanja his first minutes of the season, bringing him on as a sub in the 87th minute, and he unfortunately conceded an own goal five minutes later as he deflected Figon's cross in.
The result means Sydney finish the NYL season in ninth position while the Heart remain in sixth spot.
Melbourne Heart 0
Sydney FC 3 (Kofinas 15, Mallia 33, Stevanja OG 92)
Melbourne Heart : 1. Christopher Maynard (GK) (16. Marko Stevanja 87), 2. Phillip Petreski (12. Tyler James 62), 3. Cameron Edwards, 4. Andrew Mullett, 5. William Abbott (15. Ricardo Gonzales 62), 6. Joshua Groenwaldt (C), 7. Ersin Kaya, 8. Paulo Retre, 10. Stefan Mauk, 11. Ben Garuccio (2. Phillip Petrevski 90), 14. Andrew Cartanos (9. Evan Batsis 45)
Yellow Card: Mauk 63
Sydney FC: 2. Keifer Dotti (14. Jared Lum 59), 3. Aaron Calver, 5. Jarrad Kyle, 6. Hagi Gligor (C), 8. Mitch Mallia (9. Jordan Figon 45), 10. Christopher Naumoff, 11. Tom Slater, 12. Lukas Stergiou, 16. Alec Urosevski, 17. Theo Kofinas (4. Roberto Speranza 57), 20. Anthony Bouzanis (GK)
Yellow Card: Kofinas 56, Figon 85