Another thrilling Sydney Derby took place on Saturday night and Sydney was sky blue as Sydney FC managed a 1-0 win over Western Sydney at Allianz Stadium. The goal came in the 88th minute as Milos Ninkovic made himself an instant hero for Sydney as he scored the late goal.
The match was tight in the early going as both sides were determined to not give too much away but in the 12th minute Western Sydney took an early hit. Romeo Castelen had to leave the field with an injury, bringing Dario Vidosic on much earlier than would have been liked.
It was a very typical derby throughout the first quarter of the match, as the two sides were getting stuck in. The number of fouls really slowed up the flow, making it hard for either side to really get going but the referee did a good job of keeping the cards in the pocket.
When fouls weren’t stopping the match, it was poor work from both sides as both teams just could not put in a good final ball. That saw both goalkeepers barely having to work as both were able to just simply claim possession easily.
In the final ten minutes of the half the referee finally lost his patience with the fouls as both Milos Dimitrijevic and Scott Neville earned yellow cards. Dimitrijevic kicked out at Jashua Sotirio before Neville slid in on Matt Jurman to earn his yellow.
Sotirio thought he’d scored the opening goal of the match right at the death of the half as he headed a ball over his back and in to the net. But his celebrations were short lived as he saw the offside flag go up on a tight call, keeping it scoreless at half-time.
The injuries continued for Western Sydney in the second half, as they lost Scott Neville in the ninth minute of the half, seeing him replaced by Brendan Hamill. He was fortunate to have been still on the field as he fouled Ninkovic, but was spared a second yellow card.
The Wanderers were looking dangerous just before the hour mark but Vedran Janjetovic was proving difficult to break down. Part of that was because those efforts were too often too close to Janjetovic or too tame, making his life too easy.
Sydney did not make their first change until after the hour mark, and that saw the sky blues really controlling the final 30 minutes. That saw the Wanderers start to waste time, with Andrew Redmayne lucky to avoid a yellow card for time wasting.
With two minutes to play Sydney were able to wrap it up as Ninkovic was able to get the goal that the match needed. Brandon O’Neill sent in a perfect ball for Ninkovic, whose control was top class before he was able to cut it low and powerfully past Redmayne for the winner, earning a yellow for his celebration.