Sydney FC remain unbeaten

Sydney FC has maintained its unbeaten start to the National Youth League, defeating the Perth Glory 5-3 in a high-scoring encounter at Members Equity Stadium.

Sydney FC has maintained its unbeaten start to the National Youth League, defeating the Perth Glory 5-3 in a high-scoring encounter at Members Equity Stadium.

Sydney's Sean Rooney and Perth's Andrija Jukic both fired home hat-tricks for their side's but the Glory skipper's efforts weren't enough for the previously unbeaten side to hold off a Sydney outfit that seemed brimming with potential goalscorers.

In hot and dry conditions, Rooney slipped home an early opener for the visitors after a series of mistakes from Glory goalkeeper Devon Spence.

But two goals in five minutes from the classy Jukic saw the Glory leading 2-1 ahead of the break before Rooney stepped up once more, belting home two goals during first-half injury time to give the visitors a surprise lead going into the second half.

Matthew Jurman extended the advantage for Sydney in the 70th minute before Jukic gave his side some hope when he pulled one back two minutes later.

But any chance Perth had of maintaining their unbeaten start to the season ended in the 83rd minute when Brendan Gan nodded home from a goalmouth scramble to secure the points.

The result sees Sydney move on top of the National Youth League table, despite having played one less match than second-placed Queensland as the Glory find themselves in fourth.

During the early stages, Gan got the ball rolling for Sydney, fashioning the first chance when he ran into goal only to be blocked by Scott Neville's well-timed tackle.

But the Glory's early resistance faltered in the 14th minute when goalkeeper Spence couldn't take hold of a cross from Chris Triantis, the ball squirming free for Rooney to slide home.

But Perth hit back through skipper Jukic, who brought the early crowd to life in the 23rd minute when he latched onto Howard Fondyke's cross and belted the ball in.

Five minutes later, Jukic gave his side the lead after a Sydney attack was cut off by Hayden Doyle. Senior Glory player Mark Lee took possession from Doyle and his throughball took a slight deflection off a Sydney defender, falling perfectly for Jukic to run on and slam it into the top-right-hand corner.

Some beautiful ball control from Jukic then released Fondyke down the left channel but his shot hit the side netting as Perth failed to capitalise on its dominance.

And, Sydney made the hosts pay as Rooney did his Manchester United namesake proud, belting in two goals during injury time.

For his second, Rooney latched onto a great ball from Nik Tsattalios before slamming in a powerful strike while he completed the hat-trick when he held off the Perth defence from a long throw and hooked the ball past Spence to give Sydney the lead.

After the break, Sydney's strikers eased up a little, trying to walk the ball into goal instead of shooting on sight.

But a cracking shot from Jurman set the ball rolling as he extended the Sky Blues' advantage 20 minutes from time, his powerful shot just crossing over as it rebounded off a Perth defender who was milimetres behind the line.

Two minutes later, the hosts were given some hope when Jukic sealed his hat-trick, slipping the ball home after Sydney's defence failed to clear James Sammut's free kick from the right.

But a scrambled effort from Gan in the 83rd minute consolidated the points for Sydney and saw the New South Welshman maintain their unbeaten run.

Match Details

Perth Glory 3 (Andrija Jukic 23/28/72) Sydney FC 5 (Sean Rooney 15'/43'/44', Mathew Jurman 70', Brendan Gan 83')

Members Equity Stadium, Perth Sunday 19 October 2008 Referee: David Costello

Perth Glory line-up: 40.Devon SPENCE (gk), 2.Ryan PEARSON, 3.Scott NEVILLE (5.Brent GRIFFITHS 43-), 4.Liam HARVEY (3.Scott NEVILLE 66-), 6.Hayden DOYLE, 8.Howard FONDYKE, 9.Nick RIZZO (OA) (7.James SAMMUT 61-), 12.Reece VITTIGLIA, 13.Andrija JUKIC, 18.Mark LEE (OA) (10.Adam LUCA 61-), 19.David TARKA (OA) (9.Nick RIZZO (OA) 85-)

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Ryan Pearson 30- Red Cards: Nil

Sydney FC line-up: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk) (30.Lawrence THOMAS (gk) 61-), 2.Rhyan GRANT, 3.Adam BIDDLE (11.Kofi DANNING 61-), 4.Chris TRIANTIS, 5.Matthew JURMAN, 8.Anthony GOLEC, 9.Sean ROONEY (6.Chris PAYNE 61-), 10.Zach CAIRNCROSS, 13.Sam MUNRO, 14.Brendan GAN, 16.Nikolas TSATTALIOS (7.Robbie MILESKI 61-)

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Brendan Gan 38-, Matthew Jurman 64- Red Cards: Nil