Derby spoils shared in underwhelming 0-0 draw

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The Western Sydney Wanderers claimed a well-earned point against Sydney FC after holding the league leaders to a 0-0 draw in front of a less than sell out Allianz Stadium crowd of 40,143.

The 14th Sydney derby will hardly to go down as a classic as the two sides found little joy in front of goal, with a late double save from Vukovic ensuring a point apiece.

A tentative opening ten minutes to the game was finally broken by Michael Zullo, whose pinpoint ball found Filip Holosko through on goal. However, the forward’s first-time effort skidded wide after a stunning sliding challenge from Wanderers youngster Jonathan Aspropotamitis.

Sydney continued to pile on the pressure by driving forward time and again, with Alex Wilkinson coming the closest after 14th minutes – his looping header forcing Vedran Janjetovic to tip the ball expertly over the bar.

The Wanderers were by no means playing to their roll of underdogs, harrying and hassling the league leaders with relentless energy in the niggly affair.

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The visitors might have felt hard done by after 22 minutes when a Mitch Nichols shot clearly struck the outstretched arm of a Sydney defender in the box, but the subsequent penalty protests were waved away by referee Peter Green.

Sydney looked far from their usual best in the first half as the Wanderers applied relentless pressure, star playmaker and assist maestro Milos Ninkovic looking particularly out of sorts on the ball.

The Wanderers opened the second half looking the stronger of the two sides with Lachlan Scott coming close to testing Danny Vukovic after 49 minutes with a glancing header.

Sydney continued to struggle in comparison to their ordinarily lofty standards, looking lethargic in their play and lacking the width to really hurt the Wanderers.

Bobo came closest for the home side with two half chances midway through the second half – a half-hearted bicycle kick flittering well wide, and a low shot failing to test Janjetovic.

Scott Neville delighted the travelling Wanderers fans and nearly put his side ahead on 67 minutes after unleashing a stinging shot from distance which required a one-handed palm away from Vukovic.

Vukovic was called into action once again ten minutes later, pulling off a crucial double save. The Sydney keeper flew off his line first to deny Jaushua Sotirio who was through on goal and then blocked the follow up effort from Nichols.

The final minutes saw the first real flurry of effort from the Sky Blues since early in the first half but their efforts were in vain as the Wanderers held out for yet another draw.

Sydney FC  0
Western Sydney Wanderers 0

Stadium: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 40,143

Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Sydney FC 4. WILKINSON Alex, 7. ZULLO Michael, 8. DIMITRIJEVIC Milos, 9. BOBÔ (18. SIMON Matt 83’), 10. NINKOVIC Milos, 12. CALVER Aaron, 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 14. BROSQUE Alex (c) (17. CARNEY David 76’), 20. VUKOVIC Danny (gk), 21. HOLOSKO Filip (11. IBINI Bernie 69’), 23. GRANT Rhyan

Substitutes: 1. REDMAYNE Andrew (gk), 25. FLOTTMANN Patrick

Western Sydney Wanderers 3. CLISBY Jack, 6. NICHOLS Mitch, 8. DIMAS (c), 10. MARTINEZ Nicolas, 12. NEVILLE Scott, 15. BACCUS Kearyn, 16. SOTIRIO Jaushua, 18. CORNTHWAITE Robert (5. HAMILL Brendan 86’), 20. JANJETOVIC Vedran (gk), 22. ASPROPOTAMITIS Jonathan, 23. SCOTT Lachlan (14. KUSUKAMI Jumpei 63’)

Substitutes: 1. TYSON Jerrad (gk), 13. PINATARES Bruno, 49. MAJOK Abraham

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