NYL: Jets and Sydney share spoils in a thriller

It may have been hot at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday night, however the warmer temperatures had no effect on the quality of the Jets’ Foxtel National Youth League showdown with Sydney FC.

Both sides created plenty of chances, entertaining the strong home crowd, with Antonee Burke scoring twice for the Jets, and keeper Jack Duncan making a starring return from injury, in a man-of-the-match performance.

The clash was only seconds old when the Sky Blues created their first opportunity, as Jerry Skotadis found space down the right edge and whipped a cross towards Jeremy Cox who went close to opening the scoring.

Just minutes later Cox had a second chance to put Sydney ahead, as he raced one-on-one with Jets keeper Duncan, but the returning custodian thwarted Cox as he looked set to make it 1-0.

Newcastle made the visitors pay for their poor finishing soon after. After a pinball in the box, the ball fell to Mario Shabow whose shot was saved by Sydney keeper Alex Cisak and into the path of Antonee Burke who fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Jack Duncan

Sydney nearly equalised when skipper Samiel McIllhatton squeezed through the lines, however Duncan was up to the task again to deny him. Duncan made another brilliant stop before half-time to deny Chris Zuvela who darted down the left edge.

The Jets took their slender advantage into the sheds and when they returned, Burke doubled the lead. Substitute Kent Harrison produced a pinpoint cross from the left, which the Jets striker slotted.

Kosta Petratos then went within a coat of paint, of making it 3-0. His turn, and strike from the left-side of the box smacked against the apex.

The Sky Blues continued to press forward as they searched for a route back into the match, and soon had it when substitute Marco Tilio made an immediate impact. He broke down the left and curled his strike just past the outstretched hands of Duncan.

A second half which produced plenty of drama continued in the same vein as Sydney were awarded a penalty. But, up stepped Duncan again to save the day as Hassan Jalloh struck straight at the Jets keeper.

However – despite the missed opportunity – the visitors would not be denied, as Ben Koop slotted the equaliser after a scramble inside the box.

An end-to-end contest ensued, with both sides having a number of chances to snatch all three points.

In the end though, the sides were forced to share the spoils though as the Jets kept their place in second on the ladder.