Central Coast Mariners have beaten the Young Socceroos 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Gosford on Thursday.
A Jake McGing header cancelled out a solo strike from Young Socceroo Bai Antoniou before Tom Lyons from the Mariners Academy scored with almost the final kick of the game at Central Coast Stadium to clinch a win for the Mariners.
Lyons has captained the under-20s academy side for most of the PS4 NPL 2 season before earning a regular place in the academy’s first team over the past month.
Paul Okon’s Young Socceroos are in preparations for the AFF U19 Championship (11-24 September in Hanoi) and AFC U19 Championship (13-30 October in Bahrain) with the ultimate goal to qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2017.
After an even opening 20 minutes, Young Socceroos opened the scoring thanks to a screamer from Antoniou who shot into the top corner, giving Necevski no chance in goals.
Necevski, Pain, Powell, Faty, Tavares, Neill, Appiah & Montgomery were all substituted in the second half with a range of academy players and trilaists featuring for the Mariners.
Buhagiar and Rose started the second half for the Young Socceroos and Buhagiar wasted no time getting involved.
The speedster made his way down the right wing and found himself in a position to shoot but his strike was saved by Necevski.
With 10 minutes to play Buhagiar went close again but Paul Izzo was on hand this time to shut down the danger.
Jake McGing levelled proceedings in the 75th minute from a corner.
Playing as a central midfielder, McGing jumped above the pack from a set piece and headed home to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes to go.
After subbing on in the second half, Lyons made a clever run down the left and found himself with a one-on-one opportunity that he slotted home with composure to seal a pre-season win at Central Coast Stadium.
Central Coast Mariners starting team: Ivan NECEVSKI, Nick MONTGOMERY, Jacques FATY, Mickey NEILL, Mickael TAVARES, Jacke McGING, Kwabena APPIAH, Blake POWELL, Connor PAIN, Matthew FLETCHER
Young Socceroos (first half): Delianov, Mutch, Flottman, Timotheou, Bandiera, Baccus, Pandurevic, Shabow, Antoniou, Maia, Prasad
Young Socceroos (second half): Sozer. Vella, Ensor, Rowles, O’Toole, L.Rose, Buhagiar, Youlley Lokoli Ngoy, Mells, Champness
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