Sky Blues sink Glory in thriller

Two goals from Daniel Petkovski helped steer Sydney FC to a 4-3 victory over Perth Glory in Sunday’s National Youth League clash.

Two goals from defender Daniel Petkovski helped steer Sydney FC to a thrilling 4-3 victory over Perth Glory in Sunday’s National Youth League clash at Intiga Stadium.

The visitors went into the game having managed just one win in their past five outings, but with Terry Antonis and Peter Triantis dominating in central midfield they were too good for a home side still harbouring finals ambitions.

Glory ran out 4-2 winners when the two sides met in the Harbour City back in week two and it became apparent right from the off that another goal-fest was on the cards.

Antonis and Triantis both went close for Sydney within the first five minutes before Hagi Gligor gave the Sky Blues the lead their pressure deserved, toe-poking home from close-range after the Glory defence had failed to clear their lines.

Within 11 minutes, however, the men in purple were back on level terms as Harry O’Brien capitalised on Christopher Naumoff’s error to fire home from the edge of the box.

They hit the lead shortly afterwards when a blocked shot from Riley Woodcock fell kindly for Ndumba Makeche whose strike cannoned in off the post.

The goal-rush then continued as Sydney made it 2-2 just three minutes later, central defender Petkovski proving a handful at the other end as he was given too much time on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot that flashed past Lewis Italiano before the home ‘keeper even had time to dive.

And there was still time left in the half for Antonis to continue his impressive display in the Sky Blues’ engine room by attempting an audacious chip from 40 metres which crashed against the crossbar and rebounded away to safety.

A full nine minutes elapsed at the start of the second half before the scoring continued, Sydney hitting the front for a second time as Antonis unselfishly played in Nikola Taneski after latching onto a wayward header from the otherwise-impressive Storm Roux.

Taneski then forced two fine saves from the overworked Italiano in quick succession, but the home ‘keeper was left helpless just after the hour mark when an Antonis free-kick found Petkovski unmarked at the far post and he nodded home his second of the afternoon to make it 4-2.

Just as the Sky Blues threatened to run away with it, Glory managed to haul themselves back into the contest with 12 minutes left.

Fringe first-teamer Brandon O’Neill had fired in a couple of ferocious free-kicks during the first half and this time he got his angles spot on, bending a superb 20-metre effort past substitute ‘keeper Ryan Norval and into the far corner of the net.

That strike set up a tense finale, with the hosts throwing everything forward in search of a late leveller, but another well-struck effort from O’Neill flashed narrowly wide in stoppage time and Brian Dene’s side hung onto the victory that their performance deserved.

National Youth League Round 14

Perth Glory 3 (Harry O’Brien 27, Ndumba Makeche 34, Brandon O’Neill 78)
< b>Sydney FC 4 (Hagi Gligor 16, Daniel Petkovski 37, 63 Nikola Taneski 54)
Intiga Stadium, Perth

Perth Glory:1. Lewis Italiano (GK), 2. Matthew Davies, 3. Storm Roux, 4. Riley Woodcock, 5. Moses Kalau (12. Evan Berger 46′), 6. Brandon O’Neill, 7. Borbor Sam, 8. Blamo Quaqua, 9. Ndumba Makeche, 10. Harry O’Brien (14. Darcy Cosgrove 55′), 11. Andrew Higgins (13. Slobodan Vulin 55′)
Substitutes not used: 16. Jordan Franken (GK)

Sydney FC:20. Anthony Bouzanis (GK) (1. Ryan Norval (GK), 46′), 2. Keifer Dotti (4. Robert Speranza 60′), 3. Aaron Calver, 5. Daniel Petkovski, 6. Hagi Gligor, 7. Terry Antonis, 8. Peter Triantis, 9. Nikola Taneski (14. Zac Nicolis 62′), 10. Christopher Naumoff (15. Luke Clifford 60′), 11. Tom Slater, 12. Lukas Stergiou