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  • Old McDonald Wins A Derby


    The second Sydney Derby of the 2020/21 A-League season was an epic encounter that saw Scott McDonald's quick debut goal the difference between the two sides, the Wanderers running out 3-2 winners at Parramatta.

    Western Sydney came into the clash on the back of an embarrassing 5-4 loss to bottom of the table Melbourne Victory, extending their winless run to 6 games. Sydney FC were the mirror image of the Wanderers, having defeated Melbourne Victory in their last game to extend their unbeaten run to 6 games. The major news from the starting lineup for the home side was the Captain Dylan McGowan being left out of the squad entirely due to an injury. Both teams had a lot to play for, with the Wanderers capable of re-entering the top 6 with a big win while Sydney FC needed the three points to hold on to 2nd place on the table and Melbourne City in first. The loss to Melbourne heaped pressure on coach Carl Robinson leaving many thinking another loss could see him join the list of Gombau, De Maringy and Babbel on the WSW coaching chopping block.

    The first big chances of the game came in the 8th minute. First the Wanderers broke down the right wing, Bernie Ibini flashing a cross in front of Bruce Kamau that Andrew Redmayne grappled. He started a counter-attack that finished with Alexander Baumjohann hammering a low shot across the face of goal that Bobo was kept away from by Ziggy Gordon.

    The Wanderers opened the scoring against the run of play in the 11th minute. Ibini and Troisi combined before releasing Ziggy Gordon down the wide open right wing, his low cutback was run onto by Bruce Kamau, the forward coming across with a first time strike that beat Redmayne at the near post and clattered off the inside of the goal post to make it 1-0. 

    Buoyed by breaking the deadlock, the Wanderers lifted their energy levels and surged into a 2-0 lead just minutes later. Kamau was once again in the action, starting the move off from a cheap turnover by Luke Brattan. Kamau played a neat one-two pass with Troisi and continued into the area, played the ball inside for Ibini who tapped the ball dead for Mitch Duke and he fired past Redmayne with a placed left foot shot. Duke celebrated with his trademark corner flag splits as the crowd erupted.

    Sydney FC had a chance to pull one back in the 23rd minute. Ninkovic, having already got involved by illegally shoving Jordon Mutch after the ball had gone well out, lifted the ball over the top into the path of Bobo, but he couldn't keep his lobbed finish down enough. Ryan McGowan went into the officials notebook when he cut down Kamau to prevent him running into the penalty area. Mitch Duke & Luke Brattan were also carded after a fracas in the Sydney FC half. With a frenetic pace the remainder of the half passed like lightning and neither team could craft a clear cut chance before the break.

    In the lingering smoke from the half-time fireworks show, Sydney FC came out and picked up their first goal of the game with an Alex Wilkinson header from a 46th minute corner. The Sydney FC captain rose against Mark Natta, the Wanderers hadn't put men on the posts and the ball dropped slowly past the dive of Margush when someone on the post would have easily stopped & cleared it. Sydney FC nearly equalised as Ninkovic worked Baumjohann into the penalty area, his cross rebounded from the save of Margush onto the legs of Bobo and luckily for the home side it fell past the post.

    Carl Robinson made a triple change for the Wanderers in the 65th minute. New signing Scott McDonald, Tate Russell and Kwame Yeboah entered in place of James Troisi, Bernie Ibini and Mitch Duke. McDonald made an immediate impact. Tate Russel earned a corner off Joel King, Graham Dorrans delivered a pinpoint cross into the 6 yard box, McDonald played the poachers role to perfection, waited for the drop of the ball, rose to knock down a strong header into the turf then up over the man on the post to score on debut and make it a 3-1 lead.

    10 minutes from time the Wanderers counter-attacked through Russell, he beat King all ends up, the fullback pushed the ball for Yeboah and his fierce strike had to be palmed away for another Wanderers corner. VAR finally raised it's head in the 83rd minute. Trent Buhagiar lost control of the ball in the penalty area and then went down under soft shoulder to shoulder contact from Dorrans. After a 2 minute VAR check the ref confirmed his own decision and sent Bobo to the spot. With the game hanging in the balance, Bobo smashed the ball into the Parramatta River, making a complete mess of his shot. 

    The officials put up seven whole minutes of stoppage time, and with a long wait for Margush to get back up. Sydney FC took advantage of chaos in the area with Anthony Caceres running free onto the byline before putting the ball across goal, Bobo made up for his penalty miss with a trademark 1 meter out tap-in. Pouring on the pressure, Caceres had a strike from the edge of the area, he curled a right footed long bomb onto the top corner of the goalposts and it rocked out to save the Wanderers from having the game levelled. It was the last attack of the game, the Wanderers stoically held off as Sydney FC threw the kitchen sink until the 97th minute when the ref blew full time.

    It was a mammoth performance from the home team, every player putting in 100% for the full 90 minutes plus stoppages, throwing themselves into every challenge and when it required, showing clinical movement and passing that was beautifully finished to score the three goals that were needed to take all three points. It will not be an easy run into the finals but the victory provides a glimmer of hope if results go their way.

    The Wanderers next match is against Western United, a fixture that will have major implications for the top 6, taking place on Saturday May 8th at Parramatta Stadium, kick-off at 7:10PM.


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    Any word on Yeboah injury, he looked totally stuffed from about the 80th minute couldn’t run, but we had made 5 subs already. To be fair he battled on but he didn’t look right at all 

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    33 minutes ago, StringerBellend said:

    Derby wins are great but finals football is what is required

    A workmate of mine is a die hard smurf fan and is very salty this morning over the loss on Saturday.  However he hits back at me every time with more or less the same comments  and lets be honest they have it all over us on that front.  

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    19 minutes ago, jockman said:

    A workmate of mine is a die hard smurf fan and is very salty this morning over the loss on Saturday.  However he hits back at me every time with more or less the same comments  and lets be honest they have it all over us on that front.  

    Ask him how many gold stars on their jersey..?

    :D

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    1 hour ago, StringerBellend said:

    Looking at the next 5 three home games in there WU, Wellington Roar all very winnable, 2 away a poor Perth and a derby (I’d be happy with a point away there)

    The problem will be maintaining the same drive, energy and intensity for another week or two, also, the atmosphere as crowd numbers will be halved as we won't see our once a year attendees till whenever. Then again WU might be overawed as they are used to playing in front of 900 or so.

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    9 minutes ago, GE942150 said:

    Was this the first time we scored 3 against them?

    no

    there was a 4-3 loss we incurred

    28th February 2015 - Parramatta

    WSW - La Rocca (32), Bulut (42, 52)

    Sydney - Covic (9 o.g.), Janko (18, 23), Antonis (74)

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    Ok changes aside from Robbo I think the crowd, the occasion and atmosphere had the boys play out of their skin. We played similar to how the Mariners played against the Smurfs try to bully them in the midfield. It was only the last 15 minutes of the game that we started to drop to protect the 3-1 lead.

    Fantastic win, and if we win against Fraudsters and Perth it will really get us on the groove for the 3rd derby.

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    23 minutes ago, pseudonym said:

    no

    there was a 4-3 loss we incurred

    28th February 2015 - Parramatta

    WSW - La Rocca (32), Bulut (42, 52)

    Sydney - Covic (9 o.g.), Janko (18, 23), Antonis (74)

    Oh, that's right. Well, this is the first time we've scored 3 and beat them. All the other wins I'm pretty sure we scored 2 max.

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    I thought we played much more compact than usual, leaving little space between the lines. A more patient game, keeping our structure, allowing Sydney FC to have possession, biding our time for opportunities to launch swift counter attacks. I think this style of play goes against CRs DNA, he apologised a number of times before and after the game for the boring strategy. But I think this strategy suits us best. We don't have many players that are good at retaining possession or passing precisely through tight spaces. The possession game is not for us. What we do have is explosive players with an eye for goal. CR went into this game on the back foot desperate not to lose. He paid Sydney FC a lot of respect, respect he has not afforded to other teams. I hope he has seen the light and takes this same strategy into all our remaining games.

    Edited by JustWandering
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    2 hours ago, StringerBellend said:

    Any word on Yeboah injury, he looked totally stuffed from about the 80th minute couldn’t run, but we had made 5 subs already. To be fair he battled on but he didn’t look right at all 

    With Yeboah I can never tell whether he's injured or not the way he plays :xnod:

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    3 hours ago, StringerBellend said:

    Any word on Yeboah injury, he looked totally stuffed from about the 80th minute couldn’t run, but we had made 5 subs already. To be fair he battled on but he didn’t look right at all 

    Dunno which minute exactly, but he gave that shot some welly, shame it was straight at redmayne either side and lower it was going in.

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    On 02/05/2021 at 10:18 AM, wendybr said:

    I have no problem with it, if it is widely appreciated, even though it would add to the carbon footprint of a game of football. :D:D

    It people on the whole find it unnecessary....well, hmmmm...

    Does anyone think the lingering smoke might have played a part in FC's goal soon after recommencement?

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    I only managed to work up the courage to watch this game on Sunday afternoon, having successfully avoided knowing the score until then.  I  honestly didn't think I could handle another repeat of our recent abysmal performances.  Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised, and even a bit teary eyed at the end.  The spectacle I saw reminded me again why the Wanderers experience is so unique and special in Australian sport!

    A few things from me:

    Do people think Kamau's recent excellent form will be enough to take his career to the next level in terms of national representation or overseas contracts?

    Is the bald suit with mo who was on the ground with players after the match J.T?

    Said it in another post, but I reckon Zeigler did good

    It looked from the TV coverage that Yeboah stayed on the ground chatting to supporters and signing stuff long after everyone else.  Credit to him if so.

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    57 minutes ago, LeeMarvin said:

    Does anyone think the lingering smoke might have played a part in FC's goal soon after recommencement?

    Yep

    For years, there have been comments about the RBB ripping flares including that first ACL game and how it negatively affects the game

    This is why active support should be left to the people actually in active support

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    1 hour ago, LeeMarvin said:

    Does anyone think the lingering smoke might have played a part in FC's goal soon after recommencement?

    I don't think so. It was another set piece goal conceded and Wilkinson got the better of Natta (apart from that moment Natta had an absolutely solid game)

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    2 hours ago, Sithslayer1991 said:

    I don't think so. It was another set piece goal conceded and Wilkinson got the better of Natta (apart from that moment Natta had an absolutely solid game)

    He was also marking Bobo for for their second goal. Gordon would be my pick for man of the match, only because Natta was marking both the goal scorers when they scored.

    That’s no criticism of Natta though. He’s only a kid and has been phenomenal for his age. While he was marking both their goal scorers one of them is massively experienced and has represented his country at a World Cup, the other just broke the record to become the fastest to score 50 goals in the league. It’s good experience for an 18 year old.

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    1 minute ago, Davo said:

    He was also marking Bobo for for their second goal. Gordon would be my pick for man of the match, only because Natta was marking both the goal scorers when they scored.

    That’s no criticism of Natta though. He’s only a kid and has been phenomenal for his age. While he was marking both their goal scorers one of them is massively experienced and has represented his country at a World Cup, the other just broke the record to become the fastest to score 50 goals in the league. It’s good experience for an 18 year old.

    That's well said.

    He has made misakes, which is understandable, but he has also been there to shut down many more challenges and calmly clear the ball. If I have any other criticism of him, it is that he seems to just lack a little bit of pace. That's not a criticism per se, just an observation.

    I have however, been most impressed with two other facets of his game. Firstly, his passing accuracy - and I'm not just talking about the tikka takka bewteen his centre and wing backs. Many of his long balls to our midfielders and forwards have been pinpoint. Secondly, his cool, calm and collected attitude in defence. He never seems flustered or intimidated. If he misses a tackle or gets beaten in attack, he works hard to get back and repair the damage. He also has seemed to win a high percentage of headers in a one on one situation. His timing is very accurate. He has been one of the shining lights of this season. Unfortunately for us but great for him, someone with his ability at this stage of his career will no doubt be heading of to greener pastures for bigger dollars before too long.

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    Kamau has become a crucial factor. Unfortunately like Tomi Juric and Romeo he is made of glass. Seemed to tweak something on Saturday and I would not be surprised to see him out for a period. At this level of the game someone who can run at opponents at pace and put their defensive structure on the back foot are real difference makers. We need Bruce to be fit and firing to make any impact from here on in.

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    48 minutes ago, THEWANDERERSPOST said:

    The salt from Baumjohann lol.

    I'm sure he really enjoyed eating the turf again after going down more times than a prostitute.

    In my opinion, last season has an * next to it. The whole finals series had to be played at Bankwest, so all of those out of Sydney teams were impacted mentally by not being able to host a finals game and not have any of their fans due to travel not being allowed, heavily falling in sfcs favour. 

    The 'Grand' final was useless, played in front of 75% empty seats with little to no away fans due to melbournians being locked out, again, heavily falling into sfcs favour. That's definitely not the way I would want my team to win a grand final. 

    If I was going to brag about winning a comp at my rivals ground, I would want it to actually be against them and their fans in the stadium. 

    Edited by GE942150
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