Victory Youth draw with GCU

Gold Coast United and Melbourne Victory have shared the spoils in an entertaining National Youth League Round 22 encounter that finished 2-2 at Owen Park in Southport on Saturday afternoon.

Gold Coast United and Melbourne Victory have shared the spoils in an entertaining National Youth League Round 22 encounter that finished 2-2 at Owen Park in Southport on Saturday afternoon.

Gold Coast equalised twice with two second-half goals however both sides had chances to put the game away with time ticking down.

The match began in spritely fashion despite the humid conditions and the away side looked to threaten first when Melbourne over-age player Evan Berger put a nice ball into striker Mathew Demo in the Gold Coast area but he headed just wide.

Moving from end-to-end it was Gold Coast turn next when Mitch Bevan crossed into Chris Harold who positioned himself well at the back-post and was unlucky not the score as the ball crashed into the crossbar and back into play.

As the game began to get trapped in the midfield the next chance fell to Melbourne captain Aziz Behich on 27 minutes, when his left-foot effort from just inside the box took a slight deflection and skidded past keeper Jerrad Tyson's upright.

Starting to find more of the ball Melbourne opened up its account in the 39th minute through Demo who tapped home easily from close range.

Some good work on the right from Luke Pilkington saw the ball make its way into the area where Behich fired a shot directly at Tyson, unfortunately for the United custodian his parry fell perfectly for Demo who was following in from the six-yard box and tucked it home.

Emerging from the break revitalized, Harold equalised in spectacular fashion for United, scoring his 11th goal of the season 10 minutes into the second half.

A neat cross from the flag by Bevan found defender Zac Anderson who flicked across the area to Andrew Barisic at the back post.

His ball flew back into the crowded area and Harold pulled off an acrobatic overhead kick which left Victory keeper Glen Moss stunned as the ball flew past him and into the net.

A foul by Steven Lustica at the top of the Gold Coast penalty area just after the hour mark then presented a fantastic opportunity for Melbourne to score and Behich took full advantage with a wonderful strike.

The Victory captain scored from the dead ball when Melbourne played Gold Coast back in Round 3 and this time was no exception.

Behich kept his shot low and hard and the ball evaded the wall leaving Tyson with no chance at making the save.

The match continued to twist and turn when Gold Coast found a second equaliser straight from the restart.

Harold turned from scorer to provider when his deep cross from the right flank found Barisic in the area, the No.19 finishing clinically with his head to make the score 2-2.

Gold Coast was let off the hook in the 73rd minute when United conceded another foul at the edge of the area well in range of Behich's dangerous left foot.

Behich couldn't believe his luck as his curling effort evaded the wall and the keeper only to rebound off the upright and back into play for Gold Coast to clear.

With the action flowing Gold Coast over-age player Matt Osman had a prime opportunity to give the home side the lead when Barisic held the ball up well in the area.

After receiving the ball from Barisic, Osman had plenty to aim at but blasted United's chance to hit the lead high over the bar.

Early goal-scorer Demo had a great chance for Melbourne in the last minute before added time streaming into the area and unleashing a shot on goal, however Tyson came to Gold Coast's rescue parrying the ball away from danger.

Slowly cementing fourth on the National Youth League table, Gold Coast's sixth draw of the season moves it to 33 points, keeping it ahead of fifth-placed Sydney FC (28 points) and sixth-placed Melbourne (25 points).

Gold Coast United 2 (Harold 55, Barisic 63) Melbourne Victory 2 (Demo 40, Behich 62) @ Owen Park in Southport