Sydney FC beat rivals Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 on Saturday night earning them bragging rights across the city of Sydney. It was witnessed in front of another sold-out Allianz Stadium which saw a fantastic second half that provided great drama and entertainment right until the very end.
It wasn’t until the 7th minute of play that Sydney FC got the first sniff on goal. A run from the centre of midfield saw Terry Antonis play a nice ball into the box for Ranko Despotovic, whose angled shot came off the shoulder of Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic.
Western Sydney didn’t get their first corner of the game until the 24th minute. But the opportunity went begging as a nicely taken cross was headed over the Sydney FC goal.
Western Sydney’s next corner came courtesy of a long range shot from Youssouf Hersi which was well saved by Sydney FC custodian Vedran Janjetovic.
It was a half where opportunities to create goal scoring chances were few and far between as both sides cancelled each other out in every department. The half-time score was Sydney FC 0, Western Sydney Wanderers 0.
It took Western Sydney only three minutes into the second half to break the deadlock. A poorly defended ball sat up nicely for Shinji Ono to finish in spectacular style against a hapless Janjetovic, giving his side a 1-0 lead.
Sydney FC barely had enough time to catch their breath before another cross at the far post saw Richard Garcia inexplicably foul a Wanderers striker. The ensuing penalty saw Janjetovic spare the blushes of his team mate by saving Mark Bridge’s spot kick.
A 59th minute free kick on Sydney FC’s left saw a curling free kick flapped at by Covic whose touch directed the ball onto Matt Jurman’s shoulder. It went into the back of the net to give his side an equaliser and send the FC supporters into raptures.
Sydney FC’s evergreen Italian import Alessandro Del Piero had to be substituted, much to the disappointment of most, as a precaution after he felt a slight strain in his hamstring.
In the 75th minute, a short free kick in defence saw Wanderers captain Michael Beauchamp miss hit his return pass for it to sit up nicely for a waiting Garcia, who stroked it past a stranded Covic to give Sydney FC a 2-1 lead.
The last 15 minutes saw some typical derby aggression leading to a couple of on-field clashes and an injury that eventually stretched into six minutes of time added on.
With the Wanderers pushing for a late equaliser another inexplicable moment saw Jerome Polenz handle the ball in his own box, with the referee pointing to the spot for an FC penalty. Ali Abbas stepped up to tuck it away in the 93rd minute to make it 3-1 to Sydney FC in an unforgettable night for the Sky Blues and their supporters.
Crowd: 40, 285