24/04/2024

Sydney FC has given their fans an early Christmas present with a 2-0 win against their cross-town rivals. (Photo: Sydney FC)

Sydney FC has retained bragging rights in the Sydney Derby beating the Western Sydney Wanderers for the second time this season in extreme weather conditions.

The Sky Blues have dominated their cross-town rivals the Western Sydney Wanderers, 2-0, as they inch closer to clinching the top spot on the ladder. Even without star import Madison Haley, they never seemed like losing the game.

Controlling the game in their attacking half for most of the game, they were given chance after chance to improve their goal ratio. Their attacking trio, this time consisting of Princess Ibini-Isei, Remy Siemsen and Cortnee Vine took the game away from their opposition.

As the weather continued to rise in temperature, so did the chances for the Sky Blues. Throughout the game, they had opportunities to lengthen the score but the Western Sydney Wanderers keepers demonstrated great athleticism and saves on the goal line.

This was demonstrated through starting keeper Jordyn Bloomer in the first half, and backup keeper Shamiran Khamis in the second. Despite the number of chances they had in their attacking half, Juric isn’t disappointed with the scoreline.

“It’s not what I look at, as long as we play good football and try to get those chances. But, it’s always nice to get the game to three or four nil and not have to worry about it,” coach Ante Juric said about their performance.

“It’s one of our better games. It’s still not where I expect us to be but it was one of our better games. In saying that, we could add a lot more goals and put ’em to bed early but we didn’t.”

The Sky Blues were awarded an early Christmas present from referee Rebecca Durcau. A phantom call by Durcau not only confused the fans in attendance but the players on the ground.

Unafraid to step up to the penalty spot, Mackenzie Hawkesby hit the ball with precision and calmness. While Jordyn Bloomer dived to her right-hand side, Hawkesby tucked the ball away into the opposite side with a professionally struck penalty kick.

It was later clarified by the match officials the penalty was given due to obstruction by Amy Harrison. Supposedly, Harrison obstructed midfielder Sarah Hunter from the corner kick, not allowing her a chance to get a shot away.

It seems like in every home game Sydney plays at Allianz Stadium they are destined to deliver Goal of the Year contenders.

Having not scored in four previous appearances, Cortnee Vine got herself back onto the score sheet in this game with a brilliant through-ball delivered by Mackenize Hawkesby that found the feet of Vine as she sped past the defenders.

Dribbling past Danika Matos who was the last line of defence, she hit a glorious strike with her non-preferred left foot. As the ball simmered into the net, it earnt Vine her 20th A-League goal.

Not to be outdone by her opposing goalkeeper, Jada Mathyssen-Whyman delivered some crucial saves to deliver her fourth consecutive clean sheet of the season. The former Wanderers player was highly-praised by coach Ante Juric after the match.

“Jada, she’s exceptional. People don’t realise and I just don’t understand it how she doesn’t get the recognition because it’s harder to keep in a team that never has shots against her,” Juric said.

“I don’t underestimate her and she knows how much we love her,

Jada Mathyssen-Whyman warming up before the match (Picture: Sydney FC Twitter)

At 23 years of age, she is looking to break into the Matilda’s squad for the upcoming World Cup. Previously representing Australia at the U-17 and U-20 levels, she deserves more recognition than she gets.

While critics and fans focus on Sydney’s attacking players, she has been a weapon at the back of the field. As Madison Haley and Courtnee Vine score numerous amount of goals, Jada has only let in one goal this season.

“She’ll step up when we need a save and she did that again today. She had two saves at times where potentially it can change the game at 2-0, could have made it 2-1 when she literally didn’t do anything for 50 minutes,” Juric continued.

“Not many keepers can do that, I’d say none apart from Jada. That’s how special she is in the league.”

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Despite their poor performance in the middle and attacking half of the field, there were still some positives the Wanderers will take away from the game. Going up against Wellington Phoenix next week, both teams will be eager to get their first points of the season.

Entering her first game of the season for the injured Harrison, Cushla Rue added life to the game. The youngster from Bathurst will be hoping to continue her great performance today against her former club next week.

Next round, Sydney FC will travel to Queensland to take on the Brisbane Roar, while the Wanderers will look for their first points of the season against the Wellington Phoenix with both teams yet to secure a win or draw.

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