Melbourne City FC enjoyed a less than ideal start to the new year in the Foxtel National Youth League after falling to a 4-0 defeat against Brisbane Roar at CB Smith Reserve on Monday.
Braces to both Daniel Driver and Joey Katebian sealed a comprehensive win for the visitors, who leapfrogged the previously table-topping City at the summit of the Foxtel National Youth League Conference A standings.
It was a difficult afternoon for Joe Palatsides side who created several decent goal scoring opportunities, but were unable to find a way past a spirited Brisbane outfit which added the gloss to a resolute performance with three late goals.
With only two points separating both sides at the top of the table, City began the match brightly and were confident in possession throughout the early stages, but were punished for a lapse in defence as Driver slotted home the opening goal after just 18 minutes.
The visitors were compact in defence and were a constant threat on the break, with City goalkeeper Yaren Sozer rushing out quickly to prevent Nick D’Agostino from finishing off a text-book counter attack.
With Brisbane happy to concede possession and defend deep, City threatened with menace as Braedyn Crowley saw a goal-bound effort charged down, while Yusuf Ahmed saw his fizzing effort fly wide after some encouraging interplay with Gerrie Sylaidos.
Sylaidos, a constant menace on the flanks, manufactured the first chance of the second half with a long range drive that was held by Roar goalkeeper Tomislav Bilic, who did well to tip a stinging shot from Ahmed over the bar only minutes later.
Crowley came within inches of finding the equalizer with a driven effort that had Bilic beaten but trickled wide of the post, until Katebian took the sting out of any potential come back in the 74th minute with a neat finish from Shannon Brady’s cut-back.
Katebian completed his brace five minutes from time with a neat header from Brady once again, while Driver slotted the Roar’s fourth injury time to further compound a difficult day for Palatsides’ side.
Foxtel National Youth League – Round 7
Monday 2 January 2017
Melbourne City FC 0
Brisbane Roar 4 (Daniel DRIVER 18’, 90, Joey KATEBIAN 74’, 85’)
Venue: CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner