The Western Sydney Wanderers have survived a tense second half and a comeback from Sydney FC to take a point from the Sydney Football Stadium.
The visiting Wanderers started the game extremely strongly, going on the front foot and stunning the crowd in just the 3rd minute. With Josh Risdon getting past his marker, he ran toward the penalty area, then aimed a cross at the head of marquee striker Oriol Riera, who hit a superb header into the far top corner.
After half an hour it was another header from the Wanderers that doubled their advantage. From a free kick, the ball was swung in toward the back post, and was met by Brendan Hamill who sent the ball crashing into the back of the net to the delight of the away supporters, who once again outnumbered and out sang the blue covered fans in the 'home' end.
Just before the break the VAR once again rose it's ugly head, as it failed to overturn a Sydney FC penalty "earned" by David Carney. After getting through on goal, Carney threw out his arm and smashed Chris Herd in the face, followed by Carney diving to the turf. Unsurprisingly Jarred Gillett pointed to the spot immediately, and the VAR failed to do it's job by overturning the penalty on the grounds that Carney had committed a foul first. Bobo hit the penalty cleanly, with Janjetovic diving the wrong way.
Gillett was the best on the ground for Sydney FC, as they miraculously ended the game without conceding a single yellow card, despite their players racking up impressive foul counts. Bobo in particular whacked Cornthwaite all night long but drew nothing more than a foul, Matt Simon came on late, and hit Janjetovic late with an elbow & wasn't punished beyond the foul, Brosque & Wilkshire both scythed down their opponents on multiple occasions. It was another pathetic, biased performance that benefited a team who are already one of the better teams in the competition.
Sydney FC continued their comeback in the second half, and the Wanderers threw away the lead after failing to take advantage of possession deep in the Sydney FC half. When Kearyn Baccus lost the ball on the edge of the area, Sydney FC broke quickly, Baccus & Herd both failed to stop Ninkovic from passing on, Brosque found Bobo, with Brillante running onto a lateral ball, he fired into the legs of Llorente. The ball took a wicked deflection that wrong footed Janjetovic to make it 2-2.
Matt Simon was introduced late in the game to provide his usual routine of kicking the opposition black & blue, and thankfully for the Wanderers he clearly hadn't been spending his time practising his heading, as he received a cross in the dying stages that any A-League level forward should have buried.
Hayden Foxe did his reputation no damage, but in the end he failed to adjust to the scope of the game, both after going 2-0 up, and again late on when Sydney FC were in danger of over-running his side. Barring a very quick signing of a new manager, he will need to look at his second half tactics when he takes on Adelaide United in the mid-week FFA Cup Semi-Final.