Brisbane Roar Youth let slip a two goal second-half lead to draw 2-2 with Palm Beach SC at Mallawa Complex on Saturday night.
Young Roar held the advantage only minutes after half-time courtesy goals to Abraham Yango and Shelford Dais before Sharks rode their home support to level terms via skipper Justyn McKay and Matthew Jones.
The visitors started brightly and opened the scoring with a fortuitous finish inside the opening five minutes – the ball spinning into the goal following a collision between Yango and Sharks goalkeeper Shane Viitakangas.
However, Yango came off second best and was soon substituted after sustaining a suspected broken rib in the challenge.
The sides exchanged attempts on goal before Josh Riis headed into the crossbar for the hosts midway through the half from Roman Hofmann’s free-kick.
Soon after, Viitakangas denied a strike from Lachlan Gorry before Sharks closed the half the stronger of the sides without reward.
A volley from Hofmann forced a full-stretched save from Young Roar goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers, before McKay and Tim Jackson failed to find the target.
Young Roar were quick out of the blocks again in the second half when Dais slotted a composed finish to double the visitor’s advantage on 47 minutes.
However, only minutes later Sharks were awarded a penalty after Young Roar defender brought down Florian Matk inside the box, allowing McKay to halve the deficit with a decisive penalty kick.
The match became increasingly physical as Sharks sought an equaliser, but the hosts had to wait until the final quarter hour to restore parity – Matthew Jones poking home after Chalmers fumbled a catch from McKay’s free-kick.
A frantic close to the game saw both sides spurn a series of late chances ensuring a share of the points.
The result is Young Roar’s second straight draw but extends their unbeaten run to four matches and lifts them to sixth on the table.
Speaking post-match, Young Roar coach John Sime said he was disappointed with the response from the officials to the early injury to Yango but didn’t believe the forced change altered the outcome of the match.
“I’m not saying send the goalkeeper off, I’m not saying book the goalkeeper but the ref never even talked to the goalkeeper. I was very disappointed and I made my point clear,” he said.
Sharks coach Grae Piddick said his team’s performances are improving but they are yet to reach their best.
“We’re doing some good things in patches and the key word is that it’s only been in patches. We need to do it for ninety minutes particularly away from home and with a big FFA Cup game next week,” he said.
Palm Beach SC 2 (Justyn MCKAY 54’p, Matthew JONES 78’)
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 2 (Abraham YANGO 4’, Shelford DAIS 47’)