Mariners & Sydney Youth finish all square at Pluim

Central Coast Mariners 3 (Alou Kuol 20', 35', John Roberts 90+2') drew. Sydney FC 3 (Jordi Swibel 10', Marco Tilio 58', 83')

The Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC played out a thrilling 3-3 draw on Saturday in round two of the Foxtel Y-League, with the Mariners snatching a point in the dying minutes at Pluim Park.

It was the visitors who started on the front foot, and they took the lead just 10 minutes in when Jordi Swibel beat his defender to the ball and fired home Marco Tilio’s cross from close range.

Dylan Ruiz-Diaz fired straight at Levi Kaye in the Sydney goal not long afterwards but shortly after the Mariners found parity as Mario Shabow broke down the left. He crossed for Ruiz-Diaz who had an effort fumbled by Kaye and John Roberts toed the ball to Alou Kuol to fire home.

Roberts hit the cross bar seven minutes later as Nick Montgomery’s side put their foot down and 10 minutes before the break Shabow was involved again as his cutback found Kuol to double his tally and put the hosts ahead at half-time.

Two second half penalties from Sydney put them in front, the first saved by Aidan Munford before Tilio scored on the rebound, and the second giving them the lead with seven minutes to play.

But there was plenty of drama left and the Mariners earned two penalties of their own in the dying minutes, the first saved by Kaye from Shabow before Roberts scored from the spot in the second minute of stoppage time.

There were shouts for a penalty for the Mariners turned down as the match heated up in the last few minutes but it was to no avail as proceedings ended all square.

Speaking after the game, Monty praised his side for their defensive effort, with Sydney largely kept at bay in open play outside of the first goal.                                                                                                                     

“I think we nullified them quite a lot, to a couple of shots across the box which Aidan [Munford] comfortably saved,” he said. 

“But the two penalties that we gave away, it’s a learning curve.

“Although the first one was a bit tired, he tries not to touch him from behind.” 

“But any smart player like Marco Tilio is, he slows down and gets a little nudge in the back and goes down.”

“The most disappointing thing for me was Munford saved a penalty and no body followed it in.”

“They [Sydney] were the first to follow in, but saying that, that’s football I guess.”

“Overall though I’m really proud of the boys, it was a hot day and we move onto next week with plenty of positives.”

Attentions now turn to round three, with Montgomery’s side headed down to Marconi Stadium to take on the Western Sydney Wanderers in a big clash.