An early gift to the Wanderers from Andrew Redmayne was cancelled out as Sydney FC ran out 3-1 winners in the last derby of the regular season.
With both teams suffering from suspensions and Sydney FC having flown home from China it looked to be the Wanderers best hope of taking all three points against their city rivals in a game marked by teeming rain.
10 minutes in and the away side capitalised on some poor defence and awful goalkeeping to open the scoring through Oriol Riera. Marcelo Carrusca found fullback Raul LLorente with a lofted ball over the top, his cross bobbled into the path of Andrew Redmayne and the ex-Wanderers keeper spilled it to the advantage of Riera who couldn't miss from 6 yards out. That was the highlight of the evening for the Wanderers as they were unable to put together any major attacks, the closest being Ikonomidis flashing a header wide in the 25th minute.
As it looked like the Wanderers might have something to protect in the second half, Michael Thwaite was judged to pull down Ninkovic outside the box as Matt Simon tried to play back a one-two pass. Adrian Mierzejewski stepped up and fired in a curling free kick from 24 yards out, over the wall, past Vedran Janjetovic. The ball hit the crossbar and bounced over the roof of the net for the equaliser.
Sydney FC had the lead in the 55th and Mierzejewski had a brace. Ninkovic hit a cross onto the penalty area that neither central defender headed away, and instead of clearing the ball, Carrusca chested it down inexplicably, Thwaite had been knocked down by Matt Simon, and with Roly Bonevacia & Carrusca pulling out of a challenge on Simon, the ball fell to the feet of Mierzejewski and he shot unerringly into the bottom corner. It was dreadful, inept defence, players falling over themselves and failures to clear the ball as good as throwing it into the net.
The match was practically over by that point and the third sealed it. Bonevacia capped off his season worst night by losing the ball with an aimless pass to Ninkovic, he ran into the box, released Bobo with a backheel and with the defence beaten the striker slipped the ball past Vedran.
The mild positives for the Wanderers that they showed some fight in the contest, that they had glimpses of quality in attack, but once again they were let down by flops like Roly & Alvaro Cejudo who came on in the second half to no effect whatsoever, with one major contrast being Mierzejewski smashing home his free kick and Cejudo smashing a free kick into the Sydney FC wall. Mark Bridge was a passenger, Riera once again was forced to run back into the midfield to try and hold the ball, which of course left the Wanderers missing his quality on the end of moves and Hamill & Thwaite were comprehensively outplayed by Matt Simon, a striker who hasn't scored in two years.
With the majority of the team coming off contract at the end of this season there are few people on that list who look like they deserve another year as a professional footballer. It might even be for the best of the Wanderers drop out of the 6, as there will be no consolation finals series loss and Gombau can immediately get to work clearing out the deadwood from the Popovic era.