Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Helen Anderson
There was plenty of competitive football action on show amongst the Gold Coast City junior teams as they took to Meakin Park to face off against Brisbane Strikers.
Brisbane Strikers FC – 2 (Marquez WALTERS 69’p 77’)
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Thibault CARUANA 36’)
A hard-working performance from the Under 16’s ultimately went unrewarded as Strikers struck two late goals to snatch a win.
Goalkeeper Thibault Caruana’s switch to striker paid dividends, delivering City the lead on the back of decisive build-up playing out from the back.
However, a double from Marquez Walters put paid to hopes of ending a recent run of losses – striking his first from the penalty spot, before scurrying home his second amidst a penalty area scramble.
Coach Maarten de Kruijf said despite the result his side demonstrated they are a match for any team in the league.
“The boys worked the whole game as a team to defend the one goal lead. They supported and helped each other.”
“We played with Thibault as a striker and had shadow goalkeeper Lucas (Stobbart) in goal and they both did great.”
“We were missing other players because of injuries, and another player was injured during the game, so we didn’t have subs left in the second half.”
The Under 15’s enjoyed a week off, with their match against Strikers from this round scheduled for early August.
Brisbane Strikers FC – 3 (Joshua MORELAND 23’ 49’, Bavan ATWAL 53’)
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Riley VIRENDER 18’)
The Under 14’s fell victim to a resurgent Strikers fightback as they sacrificed an early lead to succumb to a second straight defeat.
Riley Virender opened accounts for City with his tenth goal of the season before a double from Joshua Moreland and another goal from Bavan Atwal sealed Strikers the points.
Coach Clayton Buckenham said failure to maintain possession of the ball proved decisive as the match progressed.
“The boys played well the first 10 minutes of the match - knocking the ball around, one-two touches and changing the point of attack. Unfortunately, after that they boys turned the ball over far too much.”
“They need to learn that they can't always play the same way. When they come up against a strong physical side they need to match them in work rate and winning the fifty-fifty challenges.”
Brisbane Strikers FC – 2 (Noah DAVIES 54’, Jaiden PARKER 66’)
Gold Coast City FC – 0
The Under 13’s were held scoreless for the first time since April in a hard fought battle.
Strikers delivered the telling blows in the second half via goals to Noah Davies and Jaiden Parker.
The result marks a third straight match without a win for the team and is the second time they have been bested by Strikers this season.
Brisbane Strikers FC – 1 (James VILLIERS 35’)
Gold Coast City FC – 3 (Fernando NASH 2’ 26’, Aston BUTLER 58’)
Under 12’s coach Rahul Shetty praised his side’s character as they prevailed in their top of the table clash to extend their unbeaten run to 14 matches.
An early double from Fernando Nash set the tone for City – rolling his defender with his back to goal to open accounts in the opening minutes, before tucking away an assist from Rylee Uttely later in the half.
Strikers pulled a goal back via James Villiers in the second stanza, before Aston Butler sealed the win with his first goal of the season after pouncing on a parried save from the Strikers keeper.
Shetty said his young charges showed plenty of mettle in a tough contest.
“This was a game of two halves with us dominating the first half and Strikers having the better second half,” he said.
“There was great fight and character shown by the boys throughout the match, especially in the second half when there were periods of immense pressure from the Strikers attack.”