Roar nerve nabs point
A SUPERHUMAN effort from Brisbane goalkeeper Jamie Young has extended Sydney FC’s winless streak to four games, just as its stuttering title defence appeared be jolted back to life by starlet Luke Ivanovic
Ivanovic’s stunning, curling firsthalf strike saved Sydney’s blushes in a 1-1 draw on Monday night in Newcastle – but it could have been so much more had it not been for an outstanding night in goals from Young, who produced a string of extraordinary second-half saves to earn a point. Despite clinching the Premier’s Plate with four games to go, Sydney has been far below its best since the league’s resumption last month – enduring its longest winless streak in four years.
And for large chunks of this contest, it was Brisbane which looked the more likely championship threat on the back of an inspired performance from youngster Dylan Wenzel-Halls until Ivanovic stole the spotlight.
In the shadows of halftime, Ivanovic turned on a dime and curled a shot through a handful of Brisbane defenders into the top corner – leaving Young, for the only time in the match, looking on in amazement.
The 20-year-old did not return after the halftime break having succumbed to severe cramp in his left leg.
Sydney missed his enterprising attack but will feel hard done after forcing four second-half saves from Young as it peppered the Brisbane goal.
With 20 minutes remaining, the 34-year-old Young produced a remarkable double save – denying both Alex Baumjohann and Adam le Fondre in one sweeping attack – to frustrate the league leader.
Early exchanges were dominated by Brisbane which went ahead after just 11 minutes through Wenzel-Hells, who pounced on a superb ball by Jay O’Shea before producing a delightful chip to beat Andrew Redmayne. The 22-year-old went close to a double when he skipped through Luke Bratten and Ryan McGowan, before Patrick Flottmann – in his first start for Sydney – came up with a last-ditch tackle.