The Western Sydney Wanderers have geared up for the PS4 NPL2 semi-finals with one of the most entertaining matches of the season.
Needing an unlikely six goal win to claim the premiership against Sydney FC, the title was not to be but the Red & Black finished the regular season as runners-up and remained undefeated against their crosstown rivals.
The match started with a flurry as Wanderers almost scored within twenty seconds until Sydney FC cleared the danger and scored themselves on the counter-attack.
It was a big blow early but the Red & Black responded well to the setback and were on equal terms midway through the half as Kyle Cimenti stole the ball from Sydney’s centre back and sent a curling shot into the top corner from just outside the box.
And the Wanderers were ahead shortly before half time as the captain Keanu Baccus flicked a header into goal after a well-placed free kick from Charles Abou.
Needing five more goals to clinch the premiership the Wanderers went on the attack early in the second half and almost got their third goal with Cimenti’s strike going narrowly wide and Ramy Najjarine’s free kick hitting the crossbar.
Only seconds after hitting the woodwork the Wanderers’ title hopes were over as Sydney FC equalised on the counter attack before scoring their second goal in 60 seconds to take a 3-2 lead.
Despite the title out of reach, the Red & Black rallied and scored a great team goal as Brenton Fox rounded his marker and crossed the ball into the box for Cimenti to score his second.
Sydney FC hit the lead again one more time but the Wanderers, desperate to ensure the remained undefeated against their cross-town rivals did not give up.
It came down to super-sub Matthew Lecce who was brought into the match in the 87th minute and score with his second touch of the game only 20 seconds later to earn a 4-4 draw.
Having finished in second position, the Wanderers have earned a week off to rest up before their semi-final the following week. The U20s also finished second and the U18s won their premiership.
Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (Kyle Cimenti 21’ 74’ Keanu Baccus 38’ Matthew Lecce 87’)
Sydney FC 4 (Charles Lokolingoy 1’ 54’ Juan Zapata 55’ 82’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Matthew Symes (GK), Malcolm Ward, Henry Davies, Abdelrahman Kuku, Tate Russell (Lachlan Campbell), Charles Abou (Jordan Morfitis (Matthew Lecce)), Keanu Baccus, Tariq Maia, Ramy Najjarine, Kyle Cimenti, Brenton Fox
Unused subs: Nick Suman (GK), Kosta Grozos
20s: WSW 0-2 Sydney FC
18s: WSW 1-1 Sydney FC
16s: WSW 3-1 Sydney Olympic
15s: WSW 4-0 Sydney Olympic
14s: WSW 1-1 Sydney Olympic
13s: WSW 0-2 Sydney Olympic