Wanderers can’t win in the A-League; draw again

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The mantra for the Wanderers these past few home games seemed to all have focused on creating multiple opportunities but with an inability to convert them, the Sydney Derby proved to be no different.
 

Within the opening seconds of the second Sydney Derby for the season, a cross by Mark Bridge looked to cement the first goal for the Wanderers. Until he shot it too far.

Wanderer Iacopo La Rocca then, after only five minutes of play, managed to strike down Ali Abbas which not only held up the game but saw him carried off the field with a suspected torn ACL. It was an early turning point that certainly rattling the Sky Blue opposition.
As a consequence of this Rhyan Grant entered the field of play and Wanderer Romeo Castelen began to execute bursts of incredible speed that left the Sydney FC players puffing in their tracks.
A pass from Nikita Rukavytsya to Tomi Juric once again almost saw the first goal of the match, Juric called offside right as he was about to launch the ball.
The first yellow card of the match was given to Wanderers captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley who intentionally pushed a player over. Yet this saw another chance for the Wanderers to bolster a goal with Castelen sending the ball short of the line, intermittently sending the entire crowd roaring.
The stalemate was broken in the 30th minute by Juric who received a pass from Mark Bridge in a relatively chaotic scene. The man-of-the-moment turned the play into something beautiful for the Red & Black, shooting the ball straight into goal.
The momentum continued for the Wanderers with Bridge cleverly passing to Rukavytsya, who sprinted past the Sydney defenders to shoot with pure force only for it to hit the post.
Seyi Adeleke’s defending took a similar miss, that saw him unable to stop Sydney FC’s Bernie Ibini who curved his shot around goalkeeper Ante Covic’s and leveling the scores at 1-1.
Shane Smeltz attempted a cross to increase the Sky Blue’s lead but this was defended well by the Wanderers clearing the ball with Alexander Gersbach receiving a yellow card.
The conclusion of the first half saw Bridge have a great opportunity to place the Wanderers in the lead but chose to shoot the ball straight at the ‘keeper.
The energy and excitement in the first half was certainly not replicated in the second. The half opened with Sydney FC making some good runs but nothing eventuated for them whilst Bridge was given a yellow card.
Nikola Petkovic almost led the breakthrough for Sydney FC making a shot that spiralled left away from the goal. The Wanderers then began their first substitutions within a matter of minutes with Brendan Hamill and Romeo Castelen coming off for Shannon Cole and Vitor Saba.
Sky Blue Smeltz sent a ball that forced Ante Covic to tip the ball right over the top of the box with the Wanderers having less chances in the second half in comparison to the first.
The Wanderers then replaced Iacopo La Rocca with Kearyn Baccus and Adeleke received a yellow card.
Sydney FC were gradually making more ground bringing on Christopher Naumoff for Ibini. Rukavytsya on multiple occasions defeated the defenders in one on one challenges and in the final 10 minutes forced Vedran Janjetovic to push the ball right over the net.
Extra time dawned on the Sydney Derby, with Sydney FC taking off Smeltz and bringing on Matthew Jurman.
In the final seconds of the game Adeleke sliced down Naumoff to give Sydney FC a free kick with seconds to go.
Marc Janko assembled himself to take the kick and hit the crossbar for the final effort of what was another thrilling derby.
A 1-1 conclusion leaves both sides with mixed feelings as either could have found a winner. Wanderers are left ruing missed chances, now six games without a win to their name in the domestic competition. Sydney will be happy with a point, however three points could have lifted them into second on the ladder.

Both squads have a short turn-around with the Wanderers taking on Brisbane Roar at home on Wednesday Evening whilst Sydney FC will also be playing at home Thursday Evening against Perth Glory.
Western Sydney Wanderers: Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (C), Brendan HAMILL, Mateo POLJAK, Tomi JURIC, Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, Matthew SPIRANOVIC, Romeo CASTELEN, Iacopo LA ROCCA, Mark BRIDGE, Seyi ADELEKE and Ante COVIC (GK).
Substitutes: Shannon COLE, Labinot HALITI, Vitor SABA, Kearyn BACCUS and Dean BOUZANIS (GK).
Sydney FC: Alex BROSQUE (C), Sebastian RYALL, Predrag BOJIC, Nikola PETKOVIC, Shane SMELTZ, Bernie IBINI-ISEI, Alexander GERSBACH, Terry ANTONIS, Marc JANKO, Ali ABBAS and Vedren JANJETOVIC (GK).
Substitutes: Matthew JURMAN, Christopher NAUMOFF, Nick CARLE, Rhyan GRANT and Anthony BOUZANIS.

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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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