NPL Wrap: Wanderers U20 crowned Champions after thumping Northern Tigers

The Western Sydney Wanderers won the NPL 2 U20 Grand Final on Sunday after thrashing Northern Tigers 6-2 at Sydney United Sports Centre.

Kosta Grozos and Oliver Puflett both grabbed a brace whilst Samuel Silvera and Zachary Duncan also got themselves onto the scoresheet in the team's victory over Northern Tigers. 

The Tigers put the Red & Black under pressure early, forcing Wanderers keeper Daniel Axford into a couple of early saves. 

The 4th minute saw the Tigers take the lead after Claudio Rosano volleyed the ball in from 25-yards.

After chances for Silvera and Abdelrahman Kuku, the Wanderers almost got a fortunate equaliser when Korta Grozos charged down the keeper's clearance only to see the ball fly over the crossbar. 

The Red & Black then went close again just before the half-hour mark as Kuku and Grozos combined well in the midfield to set up Silvera. 

The pacey winger went on to defeat two defenders only to see his goalbound shot deflected over by a Tigers defender. 

Mohamed Najjar then had a couple of shots blocked by the Tigers defence before Silvera went onto another mazy run forcing a save from the Tigers' keeper.

The Wanderers eventually grabbed a deserved equaliser during first half stoppage time. Puflett surged into the penalty area and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.

 

U20 NPL

The Red & Black continued their momentum into the second half and were soon in front.

Najjar found Silvera after an excellent run and going on to find the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty box.  

A minute later it was 3-1 to the Wanderers. Najjar was involved again, beating a defender and forcing a save from the keeper before Grozos swept in with a volley from the rebound.

On the hour mark, Puflett scored after getting on the end of Silvera's through ball except for the goal to be ruled offside. 

It didn't matter, however, as Puflett got his second minutes later. Kuku did excellently to beat two defenders on the edge of the penalty area before squaring the ball for Puflett, who drove the ball in from 20-yards out. 

 

U20 NPL

Incredibly, it was 5-1 after a moment of class. 

Grozos found Tate Russell in space on the left flank, and when Russell's cross wasn't properly cleared, Grozos volleyed the ball brilliants into the top corner from outside the penalty area. 

Mathieu Cordier and Zachary Duncan then entered the field as substitutes and almost straight away combined for the Red & Black’s sixth of the afternoon. 

Cordier attacked down the left, and managed to pick out Duncan who calmly slotted the ball under the keeper.

 

U20 NPL

The Tigers pulled one back in the final ten minutes. Wanderers defender Mohamed Al Taay acrobatically cleared the ball, only to see it drop for Jordan Smylie, who scored from the edge of the box.

The victory by the Wanderers ended a run of 15 consecutive wins for the Northern Tigers U20 side and ensured the Wanderers finished their 2017 NPL 2 season on a high. 

 

Northern Tigers 2 (Claudio Rosano 4’ Jordan Smylie 81’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 6 (Oliver Puflett 45+1’ 62’ Samuel Silvera 49’ Kosta Grozos 50’ 65’ Zachary Duncan 67’)

Western Sydney Wanderers U20: Daniel Axford, Malcolm Ward (Mathieu Cordier 67’), Mohamed Al Taay, Richard Stewart, Tate Russell, Abdelrahman Kuku, Joshua Bartolotto, Kosta Grozos (Zachary Duncan 67’), Oliver Puflett (Brandon Stojcevski 71’), Samuel Silvera, Mohamed Najjar (Jarrod Carluccio 71’)
Unused substitute: Mackenzie Syron