Honours shared in absorbing Sydney derby
Hyundai A-League – Round 20
Sydney FC 1 (Jamieson og 36′)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Vidosic 13′)
By Arvind Hickman
A Scott Jamieson own goal cancelled out Dario Vidosic’s header in an absorbing Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium.
Both sides attacked with purpose but couldn’t find the killer blow in an open game full of quality on a heavy pitch.
New Sydney recruit David Carney set up the equaliser in the 36th minute, playing a dangerous low ball across the box that ricocheted off Jamieson and past a stranded Liam Reddy in goal. In the lead up, Alex Brosque appeared to backheel, but missed, which probably confused Jamieson as he failed to clear the danger.
Vidosic opened Western Sydney’s account in the 13th minute after a delightful Andreu long ball found Mark Bridge on the left flank. Bridge cut inside and played a pin-point cross onto the head of a completely unmarked Vidosic, who could hardly believe how much time and space he had to head past Vedran Janjetovic in goal. It was a case of terrible marking by the Sky Blues caught napping early on.
Carney, having an outstanding game, had a couple of great opportunities in the fiirst half. First he was denied by Liam Reddy after being played through, then he hit the woodwork with a sumptuous curling effort from the edge of the area.
Vidosic almost scored two more either side of halt-time. First, Castelen found him unmarked on the right side but his effort was brilliantly palmed away by Janjetovic. In the best chance of the second half, a looping Vidosic header from inside the box was just tipped over by the outstretched keeper.
Matt Simon had one of his better games in a Sky Blues shirt, with several close chances in the second half including an audacious shot from the half way line with Reddy off his line.
The game threatened to boil over in the first half when Reddy petulantly threw the ball in Matt Jurman’s face from point blank range after the defender tried to take it off him for a quick corner. But aside from that there was little spiteon and off the field.
Both sides tired considerably in the final third of the game, and in the end a draw was the fair result in a gane that certainly lived up to its hype.
Sydney FC: Janjetovic (gk), Ryall, Faty, Jurman, Grant, Holosko (Hoole 79’), O’Neill, Ninkovic, Carney, Brosque (Dimitrijevic 72’), Simon (Smeltz 64’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Reddy (gk), Neville, Hamill, Topor-Stanley (c), Jamieson, Andreu, Dimas, Castelen (Sotirio 61’), Nichols, Vidosic, Bridge (Santalab 85’)
Scorers: Vidosic 13’, Jamieson (og) 36’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Reddy 31’, Jurman 31’, Topor-Stanley 44’, Ryall 78’, Carney 82’, Sotirio 83’
3 – Dario Vidosic (WSW) – Outstanding header to open the scoring and could have had a hattrick if not for the excellent work of Janjetovic in goal. One of his best performances this year.
2 – Matt Simon (SFC) – Whatever Matt Simon had before the game he should buy truckloads of it. Not only one of the busiest players on the pitch, but proved a real handful for the Wanderers defence, holding up the ball with gusto and even trying an audacious attempt from half way. All that lacked was an end product. When he came off, Sydney FC looked far less dangerous.
1 – David Carney (SFC) – Could be the shrewdest mid-season transfer on this performance and was unlucky not to score with a cracking shot that rattled the crossbar. Adds width and guile to Sydney and a touch of class at the pointy end. His delivery from set pieces asks questions.
Notable mentions: Matt Jurman and Brendan Hamill – both outstanding central defenders on opposing sides. Hamill played his first game back from a season-long injury.