United close the gap

Gold Coast United drew within a point of Sydney FC at the summit of the National Youth League table with a 2-0 shutout of the competition frontrunners at Owen Park on Sunday.

Gold Coast United drew within a point of Sydney FC at the summit of the National Youth League table with a 2-0 shutout of the competition frontrunners at Owen Park on Sunday.

The win marks United's third on-the-trot as it charges towards the business end of the season with eight goals in three weeks.

Hyundai A-League experienced Andrew Barasic and Jefferson scored first-half goals for the home side while Zachary Anderson and Steven Topalovic tied up Sydney's attack at the other end of the park.

Facing a fearsome front trio of Tahj Minniecon, Golgol Mebrahtu and Barasic, Sydney was no match for the home side in the first half as it raced away to a 2-0 lead.

Sydney had a host of opportunities to put itself into the game throughout the first half - most notably a feeble attempt from the penalty spot - but failed to capitalise on some grand chances.

Brazilian import Jefferson's inclusion in the United XI paid dividends when he opened the scoring after just eight minutes.

A curling cross sailed into the box and Barisic knocked the ball down for the Brazilian who drove a volley hard into the top right corner while Sydney keeper Ivan Neceski could only watch.

The visitors had a tough chance to equalise when Chris Payne sprayed past the post, and should have scored when a Payne cross presented Joel Chianese with an ideal opportunity but Jerrad Tyson was well positioned to deny the shot.

Only the football gods denied Sydney its next chance when a Matthew Jurman missile cannoned into the bottom of the cross bar and then struck the upright but somehow failed to cross the chalk.

Unable to get on the scoreboard Sydney's pain was accentuated when United doubled its lead on the back of some individual brilliance from Barasic.

The lethal striker received a ball at the top corner of the box, surged forward then doubled back to give himself some room, before blasting away from 20 metres to leave Necevski flat-footed as the ball rocketed into the net.

Sydney squandered a golden opportunity to half the deficit just minutes before the break when Zachary Anderson was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.

Chris Payne stepped up to convert from the spot but didn't even manage to trouble the 'keeper as his miss-hit dribbled past the left upright.

Both sides made mass substitutions in the second-half which disrupted the flow of the game, and scoring chances were few and far between as the game slowed down and got scrappy.

Only desperate defence from Antony Golec and Steven Tibbetts stopped the men in gold from going further ahead in the second half as they survived injury scares to Barisic and Mebrahtu.

National Youth League

Gold Coast United 2 (Jefferson 8, Barasic 39) Sydney FC 0