Sydney FC maintained their perfect start to the Foxtel National Youth League season with a comfortable 5-2 win over Adelaide United in Wollongong on Saturday.
First-team forward Mitch Mallia, the only over-age player on the pitch, led the way for the Sky Blues scoring a hat-trick and proving a constant threat to the Adelaide defence.
Adelaide were reduced to 10 men on the half-hour mark with Lachlan Barr dismissed for a last-man foul on Mallia, but in truth the Sky Blues had looked the better side from the outset.
It was Mallia who broke the deadlock after just 12 minutes, benefitting from a Keenan Gibson assist.
Sydney soon doubled their advantage as Mallia burst into the penalty area resulting in a penalty and red card, with Josh MacDonald converting from the spot.
The one-way traffic continued after the interval with Mallia bagging his second following a mazy run and dribble before converting from point-blank range.
Adelaide were awarded their own penalty for a tug in the penalty area and Anthony Costa duly converted to give the visitors some hope.
However, Christopher Zuvela quickly restored the three-goal margin and there were further chances for Nikola Taneski and Daniel Petkovski as the Sky Blues threatened the Reds goal on numerous occasions.
To their credit, the 10-man Reds maintained their spirit and Nikola Milesunic profited from a mix-up in defence to convert an easy chance with goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast left stranded.
Appropriately enough it was Mallia who rounded out the scoring with eight minutes remaining after outsprinting a flat-footed defence and coolly converting from close range.
The three points keeps Sydney FC on top with four wins from as many starts, with Adelaide remaining in mid-table.
Sydney FC 5 (Mitch Mallia 12, 48, 82, Josh MacDonald 32pen, Christopher Zuvela 63)
Adelaide United 2 (Anthony Costa 48pen, Nikola Milesunic 80)