A youthful Adelaide United side held league powerhouse Sydney FC to a 0-0 draw at Coopers Stadium in a fantastic display on Sunday.

Although the Sky Blues had the stronger chances the spirit and gusto the hosts played with rendered the 0-0 result a deserved score-line for both teams.

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A decimated Reds squad faced Sydney with starting debuts handed to 16-year-old attacking midfielder Lachlan Brook and Apostolos Stamatelopolous fresh from his late equalizer against Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday evening.

Despite the abundance of youth that saw the Sky Blues outnumber the Reds in A-League appearances by the ridiculous number of 1295 to 421, the youngsters were the brighter side early.

Stamatelopolous was lively up front early on after his match-salvaging goal against Wanderers but it took a fine save from Daniel Margush – filling in for Paul Izzo – to prevent Adrian Mierzejewski from putting the visitors ahead.

Ryan Strain continued his meteoric rise upward, this time hitting the bar from 25 yards out with Andrew Redmayne stranded.

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Alex Brosque wasn’t having a good time of it early.

Intense exchanges with the linesman, referee, Adelaide’s Ersan Gulum and just about everybody else painted the picture of a frustrated man as Sydney struggled to find the opener.

But he would get satisfaction. Injury ensured Gulum’s night finished prematurely, with youngster Ben Warland entering the fray against one of the best attacks seen in the A-League.

Marco Kurz cut another exasperated figure. He earned a yellow for his troubles just before Jarrad Gillett called the half, in a match that increasingly threatened to burst to life.

One could only imagine that choice words were spoken by Graham Arnold in the locker room, because the visitors doubled their intensity out of the break.

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Adelaide remained vigilant enough at the back. But only just.

A splendidly-struck Mierzejewski volley was brilliantly read by Margush, whilst Brosque toed a shot past the onrushing Reds keeper just wide after a sumptuous through-ball from Jordy Buijs.

An impressively loud Coopers Stadium seemingly kept the hosts ticking though as two more Adelaide children made their A-League debuts in Kristin Konstandopolous and Pacifique Niyongabire.

United continued to scrap admirably in the closing stages, giving the Sky Blues less and less space as the home side pushed forward for the miraculous.

It was not to be, but a standing ovation from the 10000 strong Adelaide crowd was evidence enough of the superb effort put in to halt the leaders in their tracks.

Adelaide United 0

Sydney FC 0

 Coopers Stadium (9959)

Referee: Jarred GILLETT

Assistant Referees: Ashley BEECHAM & Paul CETRANGOLO

Fourth Official: Daniel ELDER

Video Assistant Referee: Matthew CHEESEMAN

Adelaide United

1. MARGUSH Daniel, 2. MARRONE Michael, 8. ISAIAS (C), 12. OCHIENG Mark (31. NIYONGABIRE Pacifique 80’), 18. BROOK Lachlan (28. KONSTANDOPOLOUS Kristin 65’) 22. GULUM Ersan (4. WARLAND Ben 41’), 23. ELSEY Jordan, 24. O’DOHERTY Jordan, 25. STAMATELOPOLOUS Apostolos 29. STRAIN Ryan, 37. ADLUNG Daniel

Substitutes: 4. WARLAND Benjamin, 27. D’ARRIGO Louis, 28. KONSTANDOPOLOUS Kristin, 30. RICHARDS Issac (gk), 31. NIYONGABIRE Pacifique

 Sydney FC

1. REDMAYNE Andrew (gk), 4. WILKINSON Alexander, 5. BUIJS Jordy, 6. BRILLANTE Joshua, 9. BOBO, 10. NINKOVIC Milos, 11. MIERZEJEWSKI Adrian, 13. O’NEILL Brandon (18. SIMON Matthew 90’), 14. BROSQUE Alex (c), 17. CARNEY David, 26. WILKSHERE Luke

Substitutes: 2. CALVER Aaron, 8. RETRE Paulo, 18. SIMON Matthew, 19. ZUVELA Christopher, 30. HEWARD-BELLE Thomas (gk)

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