Sydney Derby: Bobô header seals drought-snapping win for Sky Blues over Wanderers
A second-half headed goal scored by Brazilian striker Bobô helped Sydney FC edge Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 in a tight Sydney Derby contest at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday afternoon.
Bobô netted the decisive goal just after the hour mark to seal all three points for the Sky Blues, ending a six-game winless run which stems back to December 2018.
Both sides had goals disallowed throughout the game; Bobô hit the back of the net in the 26th minute of play only to see his early finish ruled out after Rhyan Grant was penalised for dragging Mitchell Duke down in the box before the ball fell into the path of the Sky Blues striker.
The Wanderers looked to have taken the lead late in the first half when Bruce Kamau applied the finish to a well-worked corner routine - but a VAR check found Ziggy Gordon blocking Miloš Ninković as he looked to block the space for Kamau to shoot, and the goal was ruled out.
After being denied a first-half goal Bobô continued to lurk in and around the penalty area, eventually finding his way through once more in the 62nd minute of play. Joel King combined with Ninković to create the chance and Bobô applied the finish with a smart header past Wanderers 'keeper Daniel Margush.
Sydney's slender lead remained intact for the rest of the game as the final whistle blew to end their barren Sydney Derby run. Securing three points over the Wanderers at the SCG sent Steve Corica's side into second spot on the table, leaving the Red and Black in danger of missing out on the Finals Series as time continues to tick toward the end of the season with Carl Robinson's team in eighth.
Wanderers midfielder James Troisi went close to opening the scoring at the SCG with a shot rifled form a tight angle toward the top corner at Andrew Redmayne's near post.
The Sydney stopper stood tall as Troisi's shot rattled the side netting instead of sneaking through the space between Redmayne and his left-hand upright.
Bobô found the back of the net soon after the Troisi chance down the other end, but referee Chris Beath spotted a foul in the build-up which deprived the home side the all-important opener.
Grant was the culprit inside Western Sydney's defensive penalty box, dragging down Duke as he looked to clear the danger from a corner whipped in by Luke Brattan. The ball fell to Bobô in the box who applied the finish, but the goal was quickly wiped from the scoresheet for Grant's indiscretion.
Anthony Caceres went close to breaking the deadlock in the 34th minute with a low-driven strike from outside the box, but Margush got down to apply a strong save to the shot as it diverted out for a Sky Blue corner.
The visitors then took the lead - albeit momentarily - through a tidy Kamau finish which was allowed to stand until a VAR inquest spotted a Gordon foul before the finish.
Kamau wheeled away from Sydney's defensive line as the home side looked to defend a Wanderers corner. Graham Dorrans played a one-two with Troisi before finding Kamau near the penalty spot to score - but Gordon's block on Ninković led to the goal being disallowed.
Brattan put his set-piece qualities on display early in the second half with a well hit free-kick which troubled Margush, but the Wanderers gloveman managed to tip the ball over the bar as the visitors remained resolute in defence.
With 61 minutes on the clock, Bobo came to the fore to get the decisive goal on the board.
This time the finish would stand after a brilliant piece of Sydney interplay; King found Ninković with a pass into the box which travelled through the legs of Tate Russell, leaving the Serbian in space to cross for Bobô to finish.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEST
Adelaide United v Sydney FC
Saturday, May 29 2021
Kick-off 7.10pm AEST
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