Melbourne City’s youth face their D-Day on Friday, with Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ side set to know their 2018/19 Y-League season destiny soon after their visit to Adelaide United on Friday evening.
Frustratingly for the youth of City, they were unable to take advantage of a golden opportunity to leap to the top of the Y-League’s Conference A last weekend after conceding a 90th minute equalizer on the way to a 3-3 draw with Perth Glory.
City opened the scoring after just 13 minutes in that meeting with the Glory when Moudi Najjar – who went on to make his A-League debut two days later in City’s 4-3 win over Western Sydney Wanderers – got on the end of a ball played in behind Glory’s defensive line and poked home.
Daniel Stynes equalised from the spot just three minutes later, however, and Glory then took the lead in the 20th minute when Ethan Brooks cut up the byline on the left before sneaking the ball past Ahmad Taleb.
Quickfire responses from Ramy Najjarine and Najjar in the 24th and 31st minute respectively restored City’s lead, nevertheless, until Kristian Popovic met a corner toward the back post with a powerful header in the 90th minute to restore the game to parity with just seconds remaining.
That result means that, rather than being two points clear in atop the conference heading into Friday, they instead sit equal on points with – but with a goal difference five worse than – Brisbane Roar with one game to play before the season’s conclusion.
It means that City will require, at a minimum, a draw in their clash with the Reds to retain any hope of reaching yet another Y-League decider while also having cross-town foes Melbourne Victory doing them a favour by defeating Brisbane in that meeting between the two sides on Friday.
Should Victory hold Brisbane to a draw, City would require all three points to overcome Brisbane’s lead.
Should Victory loose, a minor miracle would need to occur for City to somehow score enough goals to overcome the gap in goal difference between themselves and the Roar.
City defeated Adelaide United 3-2 in the last meeting between the two sides, erasing a 2-1 deficit to secure the three points in their meeting at C.B Smith Reserve in round seven of the campaign.
Roar and Victory also meet in Queensland in that round, with the youth of the Roar hammering their Victorian opposition to the tune of a 6-0 victory.
Foxtel Y-League Round 10
Friday, 25 January 2019
Adelaide United FC v Melbourne City FC
Venue: Marden Sports Complex, Adelaide, South Australia
Kick-off: 4:30 pm AEDT – 4:00 pm Local