The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers regained top spot in the Hyundai A-League after a 1-1 draw against rivals Sydney FC in the Sydney Derby on Saturday night.Dario Vidosic opened the scoring for the Wanderers in what will be one of the best team goals of the season and they were unlucky not to take a lead into half time after an unfortunate own goal to Scott Jamieson.
The second half was more of an even battle with both sides having chances to win the match without converting.
Tony Popovic made a number of changes to the starting line-up defeated by Wellington last Sunday, with the most significant perhaps Liam Reddy being handed a baptism of fire in place of Andrew Redmayne.
And the former Parramatta Power shot-stopper played his part in an enthralling first-half encounter in which Reddy came up with a series of big saves, most notably to deny David Carney after the midfielder was released one on one.
The Wanderers dominance of possession has been one of the cornerstones of their success this season but Popovic was been eager to point out the side’s efficiency on the transition last week and it was a vintage counter attacking goal that broke the opening ten-minute arm wrestle.
Sydney were nearly in on goal at the other end through Holosko but a quickly taken release from Reddy found Andreu who launched a sublime raking ball to Mark Bridge on the left. Bridge’s perfectly weighted cross glided between the opposition centre backs and met by Vidosic who glanced a sensational looping header over Vedran Janjetovic to notch his second Sydney Derby goal of the season.
The technique from Vidosic was first-class, and reminiscent of Jaushua Sotirio’s disallowed goal against the Sky Blues on the same ground back in Round 3.
Vidosic’s opener rattled Graham Arnold’s side and the Red & Black might have doubled their lead when Dimas found himself free in the box after some nervy defending, but curled his shot over with his weaker left foot.
Sydney steadied the ship before half-time and managed to equalise when Alex Brosque’s flick was diverted goal wards by Scott Jamieson.
In the second half neither side were able to replicate the energy and excitement of their first half display with the match stagnating into a tense half with limited opportunities.
The draw lifts Wanderers to first position, ahead of Brisbane Roar. Next up for the Red & Black is Perth Glory on Friday night at Wanderland. Tickets are available here.