Match Report: Sydney FC 1 - Western Sydney Wanderers 0

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight been defeated by Sydney FC 1-nil at Parramatta Stadium in front of 19,126 fans.

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight been defeated by Sydney FC 1-nil at Parramatta Stadium in front of 19,126 fans.

In what was a high quality game, it was an Alessandro Del Piero penalty that proved to be the difference.

The Italian was brought down by Aaron Mooy in the 56th minute which Del Piero then followed up by putting the ball past Ante Covic.

Coach Tony Popovic can see the improvement in the side.

“The signs are there, we are creating the chances and pushing forward and creating chances in the front third,” Popovic said. “I-d be more concerned if we weren-t able to get it in there.”

When quizzed on whether he thought the penalty was the right decision, the former Socceroo didn-t have any issues with it.

“I only saw it briefly but at first glance it looked to be the correct call.

“It-s football, these things happen.”

There was only the one change to the starting line-up for the home side with Labinot Haliti coming in and Youssouf Hersi moving back to the substitute bench.

The opening exchanges went the Wanderers way with back to back opportunities that were put into the area via free kicks from Aaron Mooy.

Mooy as always was in the thick of the action and as Sydney FC pushed forward for the first time Mooy had no choice to bring the man down and give away the free kick. It was in a challenging area 30m out from goal and was well within striking distance for Alessandro Del Piero. From the set position Del Piero struck the ball with plenty of power but goal keeper Ante Covic had its measure and it sailed over the crossbar.

The 17th minute saw the Wanderers push forward once more with the Sydney Fc defence struggling to retreat. After some quick exchanges down the left, birthday boy Adam D-apuzzo ended up with the ball and a right foot strike was on target and pushed over the bar by Sydney FC goal keeper Ivan Necevski.

15 minutes later it was former Sydney FC man Mark Bridge got his best chance of the opening half. From a similar position just wide of the left upright and outside the 18-yard area Bridge connected solidly but it was sent right of the mark without troubling Necevski between the posts.

Just a minute later Del Piero had another chance from a set position after releasing the ball into the box the visitors earned a cornered but it was eventually cleared by the Wanderers.

The Wanderers best opportunity came with just one minute remaining. Ali Abbas brought down Shinji Ono with a pull on the jersey and received a yellow card for his efforts. From the set piece 30m out, directly in front it was Mooy who struck the ball with plenty of force and a floating ball troubled Necevski and was luckily cleared by the FC defence.

After one minute of added time both sides would have entered the rooms content after both having some chances.

Just seven minutes into the second half the players and crowd saw the match turn. It was Del Piero in the thick of the action once more and as he showed great skill holding the ball he turned and got taken down by Mooy and referee Stebre Delovski pointed to the spot. Del Piero had no trouble netting the first attempt but it was called back by Necevski with men breaking early on the line. From the second attempt Del Piero struck it to Covic-s right and after he pushed the ball away, Del Piero managed to net the ball on what would be his third attempt from in front putting Sydney FC in front 1-nil.

The 65th minute saw Popovic make his first change with Dutchman Youssouf Hersi coming on for Labinot Haliti to play down the right.

10 minutes later saw the introduction of Tarek Elrich with Mateo Poljak leaving the field of play. With the match heading into the final 10 minutes the Wanderers were looking to push forward and Sydney FC were slowing the match right down and looking to hold possession.

An 86th minute corner to the red and blacks saw Hersi get the ball to Ono who sent the ball in off his right foot and Bridge climbed above the pack to get his head to the ball but he sent it over the bar.

The fourth official signalled four minutes of additional time and as the seconds went by the Wanderers chances also slipped and Sydney FC held on to take out the first Sydney Derby.

Sydney FC 1 (Del Piero 56-)

Defeated

Western Sydney Wanderers 0

Crowd: 19,126