Staring at a potential two-goal deficit just moments after halftime, Vedran Janjetovic made a terrific save on Mark Bridge's penalty to rescue Sydney FC against Western Sydney Wanderers. Three goals for the home side followed and the Sky Blues escaped from the latest Sydney Derby with all three points and a spot back among finals contenders.
Shinji Ono scored the opener four minutes after the break but the game's biggest moment came three minutes later. Janjetovic's save buoyed Sydney and turned what could have been a difficult defeat into a chance to win the derby. Matt Jurman put the home side level just before the hour and Richard Garcia took advantage of a Michael Beauchamp blunder to put Sydney ahead for good in the 75th minute. Ali Abbas converted a penalty in injury time for the final margin.
The loss is the second straight in the A-League for the Wanderers, who are still in second place but only by a single point over Melbourne Victory. Western Sydney must now return to the Champions League for a game away to Chinese Super League side Guizhou Renhe in Guiyang on Wednesday March 12. The schedule does not get any easier for the Wanderers when they return to domestic competition next weekend in hosting Adelaide United at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday March 15. Another Champions League game quickly follows, with Kawasaki Frontale coming to Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday March 19.
For Sydney, the win is a nice rebound after last weekend's defeat at Central Coast Mariners. The question will be whether or not the Sky Blues can carry this derby momentum into next weekend when Sydney host Brisbane Roar at the Allianz Stadium on Friday March 14.
WSW Ono 49'
SYD Jurman 59'
SYD Garcia 75'
SYD Abbas (pen) 93'
Sydney FC: Janjetovic; Jurman, Petkovic, Ognenovski, Calver; Gligor, Antonis; Abbas, Del Piero (Gameiro 63'), Garcia; Despotovic (Urosevski 71')
Unused substitutes: Necevski, Thompson, Ryall
Western Sydney Wanderers: Covic; D'Apuzzo, Topor-Stanley, Beauchamp, Polenz; Poljak (Mooy 70'), La Rocca; Bridge, Ono (Mebrahtu 71') (Haliti 77'), Hersi; Santalab
Unused substitutes: Tyson, Cole