Young Roar Back To Winnings Ways

Dylan Wenzel-Halls (Andrew Shaw VisibleFocusPhotography)

Words: Michael Flynn
Additional Reporting: Brisbane Roar FC
Image: Andrew Shaw/VisibleFocusPhotography

A first-half send-off wasn’t enough to stop Brisbane Roar Youth as they stormed to a 5-2 win over Melbourne City Youth at Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday.

Joseph Champness was controversially dismissed midway through the opening stanza but it didn’t hinder Young Roar as Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Dane Ingham delivered a two goal buffer prior to half-time.

City Youth ensured a close finish with a second-half fightback lead by Stefan Zinni, however Daniel Leck and Jayden Prasad struck a further three times in a frantic close to the contest.

The result keeps alive Young Roar’s hopes of finishing top of Conference A and qualifying for the Foxtel National Youth League Grand Final should Perth Glory Youth defeat Adelaide United Youth on Sunday.

Wenzel-Halls, who was part of Olympic FC’s senior squad in 2015, made an immediate impact - poking home the opening goal after Champness pushed his shot across the face on 19 minutes.

However, Champness’ contribution would end soon after when the former Moreton Bay United player was shown a red card after reacting to a clumsy tackle in midfield.

Overcoming the set-back, the hosts quickly regained their momentum as Ingham burst through the City Youth defence and rounded goalkeeper Jack West-Astuti to double Young Roar’s advantage.

Hyundai A-League star Michael Theo was in goal for a third straight match as he continued his return from injury and was tested by the visitors several times before the end of the half.

The hosts continued to prove undaunted by the numerical disadvantage after the restart as Mitch Hore struck the post only minutes into the second half with a stinging strike.

The visitors finally took advantage of the extra player just after the hour when Young Roar failed to clear their lines, allowing Zinni to convert from close range.

Chances continued to prove plentiful at both ends as Ingham struck the near post with an effort shortly after, while Theo denied City Youth’s Christopher Cristaldo from the penalty spot with a crucial save.

A frantic rash of goals commenced in the final five minutes of regular time as Leck delivered a solo effort – breaking through the City defence inside his own half before outclassing West-Astuti one-on-one with a deft finish.

Leck added another early in time added on after being picked out by Luke DeVere from a free-kick and slotting home his second of the match.

City Youth replied quickly when a deflected cross set-up Zinni for a sharp, volleyed finish from close range just minutes later.

However, Prasad wrapped up the final result by tucking home a cutback from Ingham immediately after the restart for his first goal for Young Roar since moving from Redlands United.

In Conference B, Western Sydney Wanderers defeated FFA Centre of Excellence 5-2 in their final Foxtel National Youth League match before embarking on their maiden PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues season later this year.

Foxtel National Youth League 2015/2016
Round 9 – Saturday, January 9
Cleveland Showgrounds, Redland City

Brisbane Roar FC Youth  5 (Dylan WENZEL-HALLS 19’, Dane INGHAM 32’, Daniel LECK 87’ 90+1’ , Jayden PRASAD 90+3’)
Melbourne City FC Youth  2 (Stefan ZINNI 64’ 90+2’)

Brisbane Roar FC Youth: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Jaiden WALKER, 4. Mark RODIC, 5. Luke DEVERE, 7. Dane INGHAM (below), 12. Joseph CHAMPNESS, 13. Mitch HORE (c) (11. Jayden PRASAD 77'), 14. Daniel DRIVER, 15. Jesse DALEY, 23. Lachlan WEIER (6. Liam O'BRYAN 55'), 26. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS (19. Daniel LECK 67').

Unused substitutes: 20. Tomislav BILIC (gk).

Yellow cards: Jesse DALEY 24'
Red cards: Joseph CHAMPNESS 28'

Melbourne City FC Youth: 6. Denis GENREAU, 34. Stefan ZINNI, 35. Philip PETRESKI (c), 36. Matthew MILLAR, 37. Leo ANTHANASIOU (43. Tomislav FADLJEVIC 77'), 39. Mahmut Ali EYIGUN, 42. Jack WEST-ASTUTI (gk), 44. Jordan HALL, 45. Andrija KECOJEVIC (38. Luke GALLO 46'), 46. Christopher CRISTALDO, 48. Steve KUZMANOVSKI (5. Austin WONG, 63').

Unused substitutes: 40. Yaren SOZER (gk).

Yellow cards: Jordan HALL 56', Philip PETRESKI 60', 38. Luke GALLO 61', Stefan ZINNI 81'
Red cards: Nil

Match officials: Matthew MALE (referee), Cameron FAWCETT (assistant), Zac KEENAN (assistant), Daniel OLSEN (fourth)


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