Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers have played out a thrilling 1-1 draw in an absorbing Harbour City Derby at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Moore than 40,000 fans lapped up a pulsating contest played in driving rain, with Dario Vidosic’s early opener cancelled out by a Scott Jamieson own goal.
Both sides had chances to win it in the second half, with substitute Andrew Hoole almost becoming an instant hero in stoppage time but his shot curled just wide of the post.
But a draw was probably a fair result, with the Sky Blues increasing their unbeaten derby run to an impressive seven matches.
0-1 Vidosic (13’) – Andreu launched an attack from deep in his half with a brilliant long-ball which found Mark Bridge’s run on the left. Bridge cut inside and delivered an inch-perfect cross for Vidosic to head home.
1-1 Jamieson (og) (36’) - Filip Holosko’s ball in from the right was too pacy for everyone, finding its way to David Carney on the far side of the box. Carney drove a low cross back into the centre, with Brosque attempting a black-heeled flick which hit Jamieson and trickled in past a stranded Liam Reddy.
After a shaky moment earlier in the second half when he dropped a simple cross, Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic redeemed himself with a vital save to keep his side on level terms.
The ball was pin-balling around the Sky Blues box, eventually making its way to Vidosic whose looping header appear destined for the back of the net.
But Janjetovic had other ideas, scurrying back and diving at full-strength to claw it out and over the bar to ensure the points would be shared.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
* Sydney FC’s unbeaten run in the Derby has now stretched to seven games.
* Sky Blues striker Matt Simon was only on the pitch for an hour but had six shots at himself, one of which hit the crossbar.
A crowd in excess of 40,000 provided a stunning backdrop to a ripping contest on the pitch which lived up to all the pre-game hype.
Both sides put on a brilliant spectacle which had a bit of everything. Great goals, tasty challenges, rattling of the woodwork and a goal-mouth dust-up involving almost every player.
The fans did their bit too, providing a wonderful atmosphere with their colour, chants and unwavering support for their team.
Allianz Stadium was quite a sight on a memorable night for the Hyundai A-League.
Reddy was given his first start for the Wanderers but blotted his copybook by foolishly throwing the ball into the head of Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman as his side was getting ready to defend a corner.
The incident incensed Jurman who retaliated, causing a melee inside the Wanderers goal involving almost every player.
With his side leading 1-0 at the time, it was a silly thing to do and earned the experienced gloveman a yellow card…and surely the ire of his coach.
THE FINAL WORD
It was just the response Sydney boss Graham Arnold demanded from his side, even though they had to settle for a point. More performances like that and surely they will get a top-six spot. A tough clash against Victory is next up on Saturday night.
The Wanderers also showed last week’s capitulation was an aberration with another excellent derby showing, but it’s still more than two years since their last Derby triumph. They host Perth Glory in their next outing on Friday night.