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National Youth League wrap - Round 21

The National Youth League wrapped up the regular season on the weekend and now the top two teams will play off in the Grand Final.

A 3-3 draw against the Queensland Roar was enough for Adelaide United to get through to the decider after a fantastic season.

Troubled youngster Robbie Kruse opened the scoring for the Roar in the 23rd minute and when Tim Smits doubled the lead seven minutes later it looked like the Roar would run away with it.

But two quick Adelaide goals to Joel Allwright and golden boot winner Francesco Monnterosso equalled the scores and gave some much-needed confidence to the Reds.

The Roar needed to defeat the Reds to make it through to the final against Sydney FC who have topped the table all season and when Chris Grossman netted in the 51st minute, the home side was again on the front foot and putting their claim forward for a Grand Final berth.

Enter the prolific Monterosso, whose second goal in the 78th minute levelled the scores at 3-3, putting the Reds into the major play-off and giving himself a two-goal buffer atop the leading scorers table.

Perth Glory managed to finish the season in fourth position with a 4-0 drubbing over the hapless Newcastle Jets.

Goals to Reece Vittaglia and Ludovic Boi plus a double to Andrija Jukic did the damage for the Glory and capped off a horror first season for the Jets who finished on the bottom with just three wins to their name.

League leaders Sydney FC had yet another victory, this time defeating Central Coast Mariners 1-0.

Robbie Mileski scored the only goal of the match and ensured that the Sky Blues end the regular season six points clear.

Melbourne Victory had the bye in Round 21 and finished second-bottom on the table with six wins but were defeated 11 times.

The inaugural National Youth League Grand Final between Sydney FC and Adelaide United will be a curtain-raiser to the A-League preliminary final this coming weekend which features Adelaide United and Queensland Roar.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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