Two late goals in the dying minutes of each half came back to bite the Western Sydney Wanderers as they put in one of their best performances of the season in the Foxtel National Youth League Sydney Derby.The final score of 4-2 was not reflective of the match as Sydney’s two late goals were enough to see of Josh Macdonald’s double for the Wanderers.
It looked to be a tough match from the outset for the Red & Black as they faced Sydney FC, who defeated them 5-0 in Round 3, in 38 degree heat while also coming off a 7-2 loss last week.
Injuries and first team commitments also ensured that the Wanderers were without their full strength squad while Sydney FC had a full contingent of four overage players in the starting XI.
On the balance of play though, these differences didn’t seem to matter as both teams began the match at an impressive tempo.
Chances were falling the Wanderers way with both Golgol Mebrahtu and Tariq Maia presented with opportunities to score only to be thwarted by the defence and keeper respectively.
It was a bright start but it was not to last as an audacious chip from distance saw Sydney FC convert their only chance of the match up to that point to take a 1-0 lead.
Debutant Brenton Fox was up next as his dangerous cross narrowly evaded an unmarked Mebrahtu in the box: narrow escapes seemed to be the story of the half for Sydney FC as their keeper time and again came to their rescue.
The Sky Blue’s second, in additional time of the first half, was a cruel and undeserved blow for the Wanderers who had been the top team – simply unable to convert their chances.
The second half started in the worst possible way as a combination of errors saw Sydney FC take a 3-0 lead.
Josh Macdonald’s double slashed the lead to one goal and for a while it looked as though an equaliser was going to be on the cards but once again a late Sydney FC goal ruled out the chance of a comeback.
Despite the loss, the match was full of positive signs for the Red & Black and was a distinct improvement on their previous Sydney Derby this season.
Next up for the NYL team is Newcastle Jets on Saturday 2 January at Popondetta Park. Kick-off is 4pm.