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Stone Cole Stunner Salvages Point After Topor-Stanley Shocker


A 69th minute set piece stunner from Shannon Cole gave Western Sydney a sniff of a title winning goal, but they were unable to put a 2nd past a 10 man Sydney FC who had taken the lead in the 34th minute when a pass from Nikolai Topor-Stanley went horribly wrong and fell to the feet of Del Piero who put away his 13th goal of the season.

Western Sydney knew that a win would see them lift the A-League Premiers Plate at their home ground with their local rivals watching on. Their task was hampered by a long list of absent players. Against a full strength Sydney FC squad, the Wanderers had Captain Michael Beauchamp suffer a late withdrawal due to injury, Youssouf Hersi out suspended, Aaron Mooy unable to recover from a knee injury picked up last week, Jerome Polenz several weeks away from recovery for his quad strain & goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson out for three months with a fractured vertebrae.

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Tiago Calvano's off the ball foul on Mark Bridge set the scene early, a bitter struggle with no quarter given or asked. A theatrical dive in the 20th minute by Ali Abbas made a meal of slight contact from Shannon Cole, and the ex-Sydney FC defender was awarded by Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones the first of an astonishing 8 Yellow (3 to Western Sydney and 5 to Sydney FC) and 2 Straight Red Cards (split 1 apiece). The free kick was taken by Del Piero, and he slammed it over the wall, forcing Covic into a double fisted palm over the crossbar.

The 34th minute saw Western Sydney go behind, a calamitous error at the back taken full toll on by Del Piero. Under no pressure Topor-Stanley turned to find his stand-in defensive partner Iacopo La Rocca only to make a horrible weak and badly directed pass that Del Piero latched onto, arrowing in on goal before shifting the ball to his left foot and striking. Ante Covic managed to get a fingertip to the ball but it wasn't enough to turn the ball away from goal.

As half-time loomed Shinji Ono lined up a long range effort that was blocked. The ball fell into the path of Mark Bridge, the Wanderers leading goalscorer and his curling first time effort on the right foot was exceptionally saved low down by Ivan Necevski with the ball trickling agonisingly around the far post.

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Before the resumption of play in the second half both sides made changes. Sydney FC replaced Lucas Neill by Adam Griffiths as the Captain of the Australian National Team was unable to overcome soreness in his calf. For Western Sydney Tarek Elrich replaced Adam D'Apuzzo in what appeared to be a tactical sub. The injury worries for the Wanderers continued when Shinji Ono left the field for Labinot Haliti due to a groin strain.

The next major incident was Sydney FC losing a player, but in a manner that didn't allow them to replace the player. Brett Emerton allowed the ball to run beyond him and in his quest to regain possession Emerton's lunging studs up challenge collected Shannon Cole in the ankle, an incredibly dangerous play that could have broken the ankle or leg of the Wanderer. Griffiths-Jones had no hesitation in issuing a straight red, despite Emerton already being on a yellow.

From here Western Sydney took full control of a match that they had begun to regain the momentum of after the break. Dino Kresinger then turned that pressure into position, earning a free kick from Adam Griffiths. With Shinji Ono off the field the only set piece taker of note was Shannon Cole. It appeared that Ivan Necevski had failed to setup his wall correctly, and the poor positioning allowed Cole to curl the ball around it and past the diving keeper.

From that moment the only question to remain in this match would be if Western Sydney could score the goal that would secure the Premiership, or if Sydney FC could possibly secure their finals campaign on the counter. Necevski nearly allowed Dino Kresinger or Labinot Haliti to score that goal, when Griffiths failed to clear a ball with Necevski looming large, it rebounded off the keeper and the Wanderers were unlucky that it fell to a spot that neither Haliti or Kresinger could capitalise, Sydney FC managing to block and clear the ball away.

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With 5 minutes to play it was Cole saving a goal rather than scoring it, Yairo Yau burst past Tarek Elrich and delivered a cut back to Joel Chianese, his shot beating Covic but Cole was well placed to head the ball out of the danger zone. As the 90 minutes ended, Cole had chance to become the hero with another set piece, this time however the wall was correctly placed and it did the job by stopping the shot.

With the initial four minutes of injury time extended by blatant time-wasting from Calvano, Western Sydney's hopes of securing the Premiership died when La Rocca was dismissed. As La Rocca attempted to dribble the ball forward Terry Antonis dragged him by the shirt, La Rocca then appeared to lash out with an elbow at the Sydney FC midfielder. Despite awarding a foul to Western Sydney, La Rocca was sent for the field. La Rocca's hands fell to his face, he apologised to Antonis & then Wanderers manager Tony Popovic before leaving the field. It killed what little time remained and the game soon ended 1-1.

For the Western Sydney Wanderers the 1 point enables them to secure the premiership with a draw or victory over Newcastle Jets in the final round even if Central Coast win both their match against Adelaide on Sunday and their final match of the season.

The Wanderers next match is against the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, on Good Friday Public Holiday, the 29th of March at 5:30pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.


83 Comments

Anti-climax. But still not the worst result possible. We just need a point from Newcastle now and we'll be sweet. Can't wait for next week. Very, very eager to leave this week behind us. 

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GunnerWanderer
Mar 23 2013 11:26 PM

Considering the players we ended up on the field with guess can live with the result. ESFC to be fair probably had the better of most of the game until Emmo committed suicide. 

No-one should say a bad word about Topor been immense all year everyone makes mistakes.

WTF was LaRocca thinking just saw it on the on Foxtel and that's his season gone.

 

Hopefully Ono and Dapuzzo are okay, Beauchamp as well. Onto next week. Oh and go Adelaide :-)

The result gives us a little breathing room if ccm win tomorrow. Being able to play for a draw gives a few more options during the game, especially as we will have to wrap up the plate with ccm playing after us.

Really worried with the players we have out. La Rocca didn't do us any favors. We really need to pray some of the boys come back soon or it could be the end of our season sooner rather than later.

Despite the amount of players that were missing from the line up, I thought we did alright against a full strength ESFC. The players that stepped in gave it their all, I have no complaints.

Hersi, Polenz, Mooy, Beauchamp missing from the start. D'Apuzzo, Shinji going off and we still had chances to win it. There was a hardworking sense of urgency from the rest of the players which they have made their trademark.

We can still win the league on Sunday.

Kubi was absolutely dominated by Sydney's left back.

Dino had a great game. Looked very sharp.

Injuries suck =/ Considering the amount of changes we had in our line-up I thought we didn't do too badly.

 

Appiah Kubi had a lot of energy, Visconte looked pretty good for the short time he got to play, and I thought Elrich did quite well as well. Good experience for them at least.

 

Big shame that we've lost La Rocca now for rest of season (if he gets a 3 match ban).

Dino had a great game. Looked very sharp.

Dino is shocking enough is enough one goal all season is not good enough. Sir Popa has done a great job but got this call wrong Haliti should have started dont drop a goalscorer who has started to find the net to play Dino. He might work hard but he wears number 9 and his output does not deserve a starting poistion.

 

Also Beachamp late exclusion killed us tonight hope Adelaide at least get a draw then we can play our youth team in Newcastle.

Great season bring on the finals.

No-one should say a bad word about Topor been immense all year everyone makes mistakes.

WTF was LaRocca thinking just saw it on the on Foxtel and that's his season gone.

 

 

Happens to every defender at some stage.  His contribution this season cannot be questioned.

Kubi was absolutely dominated by Sydney's left back.


100% agree. Not sure if it was because he was trying to meet the standards set by Hersi or what. But it was like he was always trying to beat 2-3 defenders, rather than looking for other options.

Dino had a great game. Looked very sharp.

WTF?? What game wre you watching??? Dino...he has to go

No-one should say a bad word about Topor been immense all year everyone makes mistakes.

WTF was LaRocca thinking just saw it on the on Foxtel and that's his season gone.

 

 

Happens to every defender at some stage.  His contribution this season cannot be questioned.

 

Yeah. Momentary lapse of concentration. Happens to the best players.

Dino had a great game. Looked very sharp.

WTF?? What game wre you watching??? Dino...he has to go

couldnt have said it better

Fair result ..... Both teams could have won it, both could have lost it, considering the amount of injuries we had and received during the match, I think we have done well to walk away with a point

The la rocca send off was just a brain snap.... No other explanation for it and I fear he has played his last game of the season.... The fact he was fouled might get him 2 games, but I doubt will see him back before the grand final, if we get there

Atmosphere was amazing

Alright. Time to bombard CCM players on twitter to psych them out!

I think we were lucky to even get a draw! Im happy we didnt loose, but we cant win them all. 

Injuries suck =/ Considering the amount of changes we had in our line-up I thought we didn't do too badly.

 

Appiah Kubi had a lot of energy, Visconte looked pretty good for the short time he got to play, and I thought Elrich did quite well as well. Good experience for them at least.

 

Big shame that we've lost La Rocca now for rest of season (if he gets a 3 match ban).

 

 

I thought Rocky and Elrich did ok as well. Unfortunately Kubi was man handled today. It was man vs boy. Lets not forget there is a lot of upside to Kubi, still developing and doing good in my opinion. He will only get better.

So much to say about the game, dont even know where to start

 

Kubi is not as fast as hersi so i dont know why he was trying to emulate Hersi and lose out all the time, once he knew he was beaten 2-3 times, he should have looked for other options, he got in great positions, played good as well, he just doesnt have Hersi's pace to pull it off, i know we had a lot of players out, but the players on the bench are not there to make the numbers, they did good, not great but good, despite having a depleted team, we still could have won the game, especially in the second half to me, we dominated that half, but as soon as we got to the Penalty box, it looked like we ran out of ideas, this game was evident enough that we need a PROPER STRIKER! a Striker who can score and make chances count, Popovic said it was tactical, but i still think Haliti should have started and Dino should have come on off the bench...

I thought Elrich was not very good. So many wasted balls/crosses. 

 

Dino had a great game. Looked very sharp.

WTF?? What game wre you watching??? Dino...he has to go

couldnt have said it better

 

You boys have lost the plot. You give me the frightful impression of having a cookie-cutter understanding of the manner in which we play. Let's take this slowly.

We play a direct, high tempo(ish) brand of football emphasizing the consistent application of pressure to force a turnover. popa has employed a 4-2-3-1 system with Dino as our pivot, bringing our midfielders into the game following a direct ball.

 

Yes, Dino play has been technically deficient in many aspects of his play - runs, finishing, etc.

 

You will therefore note that tonight, Dino made effective runs, harassed Sydney's defence as appropriate, won most headers, and held up the ball well. 

Really proud of the effort tonight considering our injuries. Felt really bad for Topor cause he's been our best this year.

The draw was a great outcome because it opens the door for us to draw next week only or Adelaide only needing a draw

Anyone know why D'Apuzzo was subbed off at half time? Injury?

Dino probably has the worst first touch I have ever seen

 

 

Dino had a great game. Looked very sharp.

WTF?? What game wre you watching??? Dino...he has to go

couldnt have said it better

 

You boys have lost the plot. You give me the frightful impression of having a cookie-cutter understanding of the manner in which we play. Let's take this slowly.

We play a direct, high tempo(ish) brand of football emphasizing the consistent application of pressure to force a turnover. Popa has employed a 4-2-3-1 system with Dino as our pivot, bringing our midfielders into the game following a direct ball.

 

Yes, Dino play has been technically deficient in many aspects of his play - runs, finishing, etc.

 

You will therefore note that tonight, Dino made effective runs, harassed Sydney's defence as appropriate, won most headers, and held up the ball well. 

Dont Agree take the number 9 of his back, that just crap dont have time to go on. One goal all season is not good enough doesnt matter how technical you want to be with this post



Also Liverpool played the same way under Raffa same system but Torres who was number 9 scored more then 20 goals

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