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Derby delight for Sky Blues in seven goal epic

Sydney FC have recovered from blowing a 3-0 lead to defeat the Western Sydney Wanderers 4-3, in one of the more memorable games in A-League history.

In front of over 19,000 fans in Parramatta, the Sky Blues jumped out of the blocks early, before they were pegged back by a dogged Wanderers’ outfit. Terry Antonis’ 74th minute goal was the difference, as Sydney hung on for an amazing derby victory.

With Jacques Faty unavailable through injury, Graham Arnold opted for newly re-signed Sebastian Ryall in defence, with Chris Naumoff starting up front in place of Terry Antonis.

After their big win in Asia mid-week, the Wanderers made several changes to their starting line-up, with Kerem Bulut at the point of attack, and Ante Covic returing between the posts after he was left back in Parramatta for the Champions League clash on Wednesday.

It was the visitors, though, who came out firing early on. A 10th minute corner from Milos Dimitrejivic to the near post produced a header from Marc Janko that rebounded back off the post before bouncing in off the forearm and chest of Covic. It was a fortunate goal for the Sky Blues, but no less than they deserved after producing positive, attacking football in the opening stanzas of the game.

Eight minutes later and Sydney would double their advantage. Bernie Ibini’s deflected shot fell into the path of Naumoff on the right side of the box, with the ball ricocheting around before Marc Janko bullocked his way in front of his defender to poke it home off the inside of the right upright.

Janko would send the Sky Blues fans into dreamland after 24 minutes, as he fired home his side’s third of the match. A long ball forward was headed down by Wanderers defender Brendan Hamill, but inexplicably he lost sight of it — allowing Janko to nip in and blast the ball across Covic and into the far corner.

Unbelievably, it could’ve been 4-0 for Sydney minutes later, but after Alex Brosque released Naumoff into space, the forward took one touch too many and fired across the face of an almost open goal.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Sat Feb 28, 2015, 7:30 PMStadium Pirtek StadiumAttendance 19,484Referee Chris Beath

Western Sydney

Goal33′ I.La RoccaYellow Card40′ Y.TanakaGoal42′ K.BulutYellow Card53′ K.BulutGoal53′ K.Bulut

Sydney

Own Goal10′ A.CovicGoal18′ M.JankoYellow Card19′ S.RyallGoal24′ M.JankoYellow Card32′ M.TavaresYellow Card60′ A.GersbachGoal74′ T.AntonisSecond Yellow Card82′ M.Tavares

That let off would come back to haunt the Sky Blues in the 33rd minute, when a free kick toward the back post was headed back toward the danger area by Hamill. With Janjetovic off his line, Iacopo La Rocca was able to volley home into the roof of the net, and give his team just a glimmer of hope.

That glimmer would become a real opportunity when the Wanderers brought it back to 3-2 just before half time. A brilliant through-ball by Yojiro Takahagi released Nikita Rukavytsya into the penalty area, with the former Socceroo drilling a pass across the face of goal to give Bulut the simplest of tap in finishes.

With momentum heading into the break all with the Wanderers, it only took eight minutes after half time for them to complete the three goal comeback. Mark Bridge’s clever, deft flick on landed in the path of Bulut, who fired low and hard across Janjetovic to tie up the game at 3-3.

There was an air of controversy to the goal, however, as a minute earlier play had to be halted as a flare had landed in Janjetovic’s goal and was clouding the penalty area. By the time Bulut shot at goal, smoke was still prevalent in front of the Sydney ‘keeper, surely not helping his ability to see the ball travelling swiftly toward him.

Bulut’s night would be over shortly after, with the debutant substituted in favour of Tomi Juric in the 58th minute.

Graham Arnold looked to re-invigorate his side heading into the 70th minute, bringing on Rhyan Grant, Shane Smeltz and Terry Antonis for Ryall, Janko and Naumoff respectively.

It was just the tonic Sydney needed, as Antonis made an almost immediate impact. A speculative pass toward the area should’ve been easily dealt with, but a missed clearance by Hamill opened the door for Antonis who made no mistake, drilling his shot across Covic to restore Sydney’s lead.

There was another twist in the tale in the 82nd minute, when Sydney’s Mickael Tavares was issued a second yellow card, when he tripped Mark Bridge in the center of the park.

With the man advantage, the Wanderers pushed harder for an equaliser. Romeo Castelen went close to bringing the Wanderers level in the 86th minute, but his shot was well saved by Janjetovic.

Yusuke Tanaka, too, had an opportunity in injury time, as he set himself for a volley at goal from the right-side of the penalty area. His shot had power, but didn’t have the accuracy required as Janjetovic parried the ball away, allowing his defence to scramble the ball up field.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Marc Janko (Sydney FC)
2 Alex Gersbach (Sydney FC)
1 Kerem Bulut (Western Sydney)
Youth Alex Gersbach (Sydney FC)

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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Comments

  • britesparke

    Great entertainment spectacle for the fans but was it brilliant attack or faulty defence (or a combination of both) that allowed a 7 goal display on the scoreboard? The own goal by Ante was just plain embarrassing-replays showing that he had two attempts to put it into the back of his own net! Poor defending from both sides certainly led to a number of the goals. Kerem Bulut (probably will now be referred to as Bullet!) made as good a start as you could expect from a newcomer -what a debut! It certainly resolves one of the issues facing the Wanderers (rectifying their toothless attack). His second goal was just superb-simply a bullet! Unfortunately someone had to lose this game-no shame in that!