Alex Wilkinson’s first goal in over a decade saved Andrew Redmayne’s blushes as Sydney FC came from behind to beat the Newcastle Jets 2-1 at Jubilee Stadium.
The veteran defender scored just the third goal of his A-League career and his first for Sydney to secure the win late in the game after Milos Ninkovic’s earlier equaliser.
But the Sky Blues had to fight back after another howler from Redmayne gifted Newcastle the lead midway through the first half.
Redmayne has been one of Sydney’s most reliable performers in recent seasons, but the 32-year-old has been off his game this campaign with a series of blunders that have cost his side.
On this occasion, Paula Retre played the ball back to Redmayne, only for the goalkeeper to pass the ball straight to Luka Prso. The Jets youngster had some work to do, but he took his chance clinically to score his first A-League goal.
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The goal took the wind right out of the Sky Blues, who had started the stronger of the two teams and should have taken the lead inside the first five minutes when Luke Ivanovic put his effort wide.
Conversely, it was a confidence-booster for the Jets as they went on to end the first half on top.
Soon after the break Steve Corica decided he’d seen enough and the Sydney coach made a triple change, hauling off Barbarouses, Ivanovic and Alex Baumjohann for Bobo, Patrick Wood and Milos Ninkovic.
The sight of Ninkovic would have been a relief for the Sydney faithful after the Serbian maestro limped off the field with an ankle injury just three days earlier. Even more so when he cut inside to score a right-footed beauty to equalise for the defending champions in the 64th minute.
It was a goal Sydney deserved, with the substitutions making a real difference. But it was veteran defender Wilkinson who sealed the win with a header in the 80th minute that bounced into the ground and over the head of Jets goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
The win sees Sydney move up to third on the ladder.
MELBOURNE VICTORY 1-3 ADELAIDE UNITED
Kusini Yengi stamped himself into A-League folklore last night.
The youngster helped turn last night’s contest on its head, coming off the bench and helping Adelaide United to a 3-1 win over their struggling rivals Melbourne Victory.
Yengi, who came off the bench in the 56th minute scored and assisted United’s second-half strikes which included a memorable celebration in-front of a beleaguered Victory fanbase.
Melbourne was on the front-foot early thanks to Jake Brimmer’s stunning free-kick but Stefan Mauk’s double either-side of Yengi’s strike helped seal the comeback.
Victory’s response from last week’s drubbing was instant as Kruse had a hat-trick of chances to open the scoring but was unable to break the deadlock.
Their dominance finally paid off as Brimmer’s free-kick slammed off the bar and crossed the line by a matter of inches to give the home side the lead.
Adelaide finally got back into the game as Mauk took advantage of Leigh Broxham’s scuffed clearance to equalise.
United’s momentum carried over into the second period as substitute Yengi broke past Victory’s Aaron Anderson and fired his shot against the post.
However, his time came only minutes later, tapping home Craig Goodwin’s cross and rubbing further salt in the wound by celebrating in-front of the enraged Victory faithful behind the goals.
Yengi’s night wasn’t over but this time he turned provider crossing the ball to Mauk for his second and completing a brilliant turnaround.Like thieves in the night’
Marco Tilio beat Argentina after IOC rules twist
The only thing more remarkable than Australian teenager Marco Tilio scoring with almost his first touch as an Olympian was the fact he wasn’t meant to be playing at all.
Originally called up as a travelling reserve to provide injury cover, Tilio was the latest of entries to the Olyroos’ squad, earning his stripes after the IOC made amendments to allow the football squads to add four extra players to provide additional flexibility during a complex Olympic Games tied down by Covid-19.
But Tilio likes to do things in a hurry. So he wasted no time in making an impact when called on by coach Graham Arnold – scoring a scorching goal with his second touch, mere seconds after coming off the bench, to seal a famous 2-0 victory over world heavyweights Argentina.
FULL SCHEDULE: Aussies in action on Day 4
It’s led to some instant internet notoriety, with Tilio’s Wikipedia page getting some curious updates in the wake of his stunning performance – which described his left-foot strike as “better than (Argentinian great) Lionel Messi has ever scored”.
It’s been a wild few weeks for the 19-year-old, who was sitting on the tarmac at Sydney Airport – having returned home after winning the A-League grand final with Melbourne City – when he received a call from his club that rattled him.
“You’re a chance to go to the Olympics,” he was told.
Two days later, that message came from an even more reliable source: Arnold himself.
“I missed (his call), but called him back and he said ‘you’re going to be an Olympian’. I was in so much shock,” Tilio said in Sapporo on Friday.
“So many emotions were going through (my head) last night. ) It’s such a proud moment for me and my family back home. Who could’ve thought? Really it’s just a dream come true.
“But there’s always so much more we can do, keep fulfilling dreams and showing what Australia are made of at an Olympic Games.”
Arnold has boldly declared his team – who started the tournament as $151 outsiders – can claim gold, and Tilio confirmed that’s a belief that the squad carries as well.
“Of course. We always say the strong belief and family culture we have in this team, the sky is the limit for us I believe, and all the boys believe,” he said.
“Everyone comes here with the same goal: to get the gold medal.”
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