Adelaide United Youth had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Adelaide Olympic at the VALO Football Centre on Saturday night.
Substitute Nestor Irankunda scored in the 59th minute with a clinical one-on-one finish, but his opener was instantly cancelled out from kick-off by Fausto Erba’s header.
The result means the Young Reds missed the opportunity to climb to the top of the table, however they do stretch their unbeaten run to six matches.
“I was very proud of the performance tonight,” Head of Youth Football Airton Andrioli said following the match, encouraged by his team’s display.
“I think it was an extremely good performance given the fact that we played against a good side tonight and they put us under a lot of pressure.
“I think the boys were very brave, looking to play through the pressure and did really well, particularly in the first-half.”
After an even first period with opportunities coming at a premium, the match came to life in the second-half with the hosts enjoying the better chances.
But United Youth hit the front after Jonny Yull’s perfectly weighted through ball played in Irankunda and he kept his composure, blasting his finish high inside the near post.
“I was impressed overall because these are the things we want to expose those boys to,” he said, delighted with the team’s willingness to take the game on and punctuated by how the goal was manufactured.
“We say to them all the time you need to be brave, we want to take the game to the opposition, we want to control the game and the way we scored the goal was based on the way we want to play every time.
“There were some great moves in the first-half that maybe the final ball wasn’t as good.
“And again looking at Nestor only 15 coming on and scoring that goal, I was really pleased for him.
“For us it’s all about giving these young kids an opportunity to get better, to develop and as far as that goes I think we’re achieving our objectives in the short term and hopefully we’ll get a good result in the long term as well.”
The lead was short-lived though, as another substitute was on target when Erba met a cross from the left and his glancing header nestled into the bottom corner a minute later.
It was a momentary lapse in focus but a point each was probably a fair result.
Andrioli was philosophical about immediately conceding, stating his team will learn from that and improve.
“The moment you lose concentration or a little lapse of concentration in a game you get punished,” Andrioli said.
“We need to learn from that but then again the players will learn and hopefully they can develop a good understanding that you’ve got to be switched on.
“You’ve got to do the small things right all the time…. But overall very pleased and I think the boys are progressing well.”
Adelaide United Youth Reserves Result:
Adelaide United Youth Reserves’ seven-match winning streak to begin the season ended following a 4-2 loss to Adelaide Olympic Reserves. Goals scored by Joseph Macheda and Musa Toure.