7 reasons why Sydney Derby 7 was the best yet

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Whether you’re a first timer or seven-time veteran to the Sydney Derby, there was certainly something for all individuals who attended the game last Saturday evening.

With a colossal 41,213 in the crowd, it was undeniable that the derby that divided the east from the west was the best yet.

Here’s our top seven reasons why the Sydney Derby was best one yet.

7. THE ATTENDANCE
41,213 people attended the Sydney Derby and believe it or not, this is only the seventh Sydney Derby ever played.

In what is perceived as a relatively short history between the two opposing teams, the Derby was the hottest ticket in town on Saturday evening – and that’s if you could actually get a ticket.

The divide between the east and the west certainly goes past the geographical lineages on a map, with the Sydney FC tifo claiming that it is also a ‘state of mind’.

Mental state or not, the city was entirely divided in either red and black or sky blue and wasn’t it magnificent to see so many people attend and support a football match in Australia.

6. THE ATMOSPHERE
As expected, over 41,000 people make quite a lot of noise.

The tension in the stadium was tangible to the touch with individuals either sitting on the edge of their seat and chanting for their team or swearing at the referee, with both of these joining in harmony to create one of the best sporting atmosphere’s in the country. Check out this video of the Wanderers fans getting into it – that’s what we want to see more of.

5. #NOPYRONOPARTY
A Sydney Derby wouldn’t be a Sydney Derby without the use of marine signal devices.

One of the most heated and polarizing debates currently in Australian football is the use of flares by various active support groups.

They have previously left Fox Sports commentator Simon Hill infuriated and irate after his comments regarding the individuals who let them off during the FFA Cup game between Melbourne Victory and Tuggeranong United.

He hoped that those who were letting the flares off would stop and questioned whether their mother would be proud of them.

Probably not and they wouldn’t be proud of them either at the Sydney Derby.

4. SASA OGNENOVSKI
Whether you love him or hate him, the Ogmonster was certainly the greatest spectacle of them all during the seventh Sydney Derby.

Ognenovski was living up to the fiery passion that divided the east and west both on and off the field.

This was seen by him yelling at opposition players, yelling at his own players, confronting Sydney FC goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic for helping Brendan Hamill stretch due to having a cramp and even knocking Vitor Saba in the head, which later saw him transform from a relatively slow player into Usain Bolt giggling when Antony Golec was coming after him.

Ognenovski you could argue was almost on fire in reality, with his undeniable passion for the sky blue spawning out of all his actions and words.

Despite some of these having repercussions that are currently being settled, he provided a real ‘enemy’ attitude towards to the opposing team, transforming him from a relatively nice and cooperating player into the Ogmonster.

3. THE COMEBACK
What do pensioners, adults and children all have in common? They all love a good comeback story.

For Sydney FC supporters, Saturday night featured a fairytale ending of the seventh Sydney Derby.

After the Wanderers led the match from early on with two goals, the team representing the Eeast had a lot of catching up to do.

In the end the Sky Blues eventually overtook the Wanderers, scoring three goals that sealed their Sydney Derby win.

One side of the stadium was heartbroken and the other was elated, with one of the greatest comebacks being written in the Sydney Derby’s short history.

2. KRIS GRIFFITH-JONES (KGJ)
When this guy is refereeing a match, you’re guaranteed two things: some questionable decisions and a game of Uno, where many yellow and red cards are put into a pile in the middle of the field.

So much so that KGJ hands out 4.79 yellow cards per A-League appearance and 0.29 red cards on average. If you’re planning to play a game of Uno or even football with him, you’d better hope he doesn’t draw four.

Thus, Saturday night proved that nothing gets a crowd more riled up than the belief that the referee has made a poor decision.

This in conjunction with KGJ’s carding ability was eventually going to end up in a disaster.

From Vitor Saba being red carded to Sasa Ognenovski not being carded at all for striking him in the head, to unsportmanship behaviour that would have made Matt Mckay proud and to tackles that probably could have got carded but someone in the circle drew the ‘skip’ card which consequently forced KGJ to skip to the next card-worthy offence.

It certainly created some talking points from the game and there was definitely a card for everyone, but it was clear that KGJ won and gave away all his cards first.

1. PITCH INVADERS
Wales’ qualification to EURO 2016. Stoke City’s promotion to the Premier League in 2008. Manchester City’s win of the Premier League in 2014. Alex Brosque’s goal in the seventh Sydney Derby.

There is one commonality in all of these scenarios and that is pitch invaders.

Everyone loves a good pitch invasion (apart from security) – mostly because it’s the only time most of the public will ever get on a professional football surface – and that was certainly seen through the dozens of individuals from The Cove that somehow managed to flock onto the field following Alex Brosque’s goal in the final 10 minutes of play against Western Sydney, which won them the game.

The pitch invaders lept onto the field and ran into a group hug with the players, with some branching further onto the field asking players who weren’t involved in the group hug for a cuddle, and eventually outrunning security.

As ridiculous as it seems, they must be credited for at least returning to their designated seats in the stadium once the Brosque-lovefest had concluded.

When Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold was asked about his thoughts on the clearly rule-breaking pitch invasion he simply concluded that this “Just shows you how much it meant to our fans to beat West Sydney”.

But perhaps a word of advice, maybe invade the pitch with more people next time so that you aren’t so easily identified, and maybe for a game that isn’t a regular season match.

Regardless, the seventh Sydney Derby was a game that will go down in the Australian history books forever.

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Jessica Csaszar
Jessica joined the team for 2014 covering Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League.

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