Mitch Mallia continued the good pre-season form of Sydney FC's strikers with a second-half equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets in a friendly at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
Mallia scored with a neat far-post header from a corner.
His goal came after his strike against Adelaide United last weekend and the scoring feats of Yairo Yau, Kruno Lovrek and Joel Chianese, who have all found the back of the net in pre-season clashes.
Sydney once again went into the game minus several stars with Lovrek, Yau, Alessandro Del Piero, Adam Griffiths, Pascal Bosschaart, Joel Chianese and Terry Antonis missing through injury, international duty and unavailability.
Marque midfielder Brett Emerton, Sebastian Ryall and Blake Powell made their first appearances of the pre-season while youngsters Mallia, Dimi Petratos, Rhyan Grant and Powell were handed an early chance to impress from the kick-off.
The match was a free-flowing affair with both sides taking advantage of the long Leichhardt Oval pitch.
Mallia and Ali Abbas in particular looked dangerous going forward while it took some great defence from Sky Blues defender Fabio to snuff out several early Newcastle chances.
The deadlock was broken after 30 minutes when Ruben Zadkovich curled a free kick over the wall from the edge of the penalty area, giving Ivan Necevski no chance between the sticks.
Newcastle took the 1-0 lead into the break with the Sky Blues making a single change at half time as NYL player Chris Naumoff was given some game time in place of Powell.
Naumoff came close to levelling the scores in the 60th minute when a sweetly hit shot from the left was cleared off the line by Newcastle defender Josh Mitchell but the home fans didn’t have to wait long to celebrate.
From the ensuing corner the Sky Blues levelled the game when Mallia leapt high at the far post to head home an inch-perfect Petratos delivery.
The equaliser also saw the introduction of Emerton, who made a welcome return to the pitch after undergoing off-season ankle surgery, slotting into a central midfield role during an impressive 30-minute display.
Both sides made several changes in the final 20 minutes and Sydney finished the stronger.
The best chance fell to another youngster but Nick Taneski headed the ball over the crossbar from an Abbas cross four minutes from time.
Sydney will now head north for a friendly clash with Brisbane Roar in Mackay on Sunday.