2018 FFA Cup – Semi Final
WSW 0 – 3 Sydney FC
Saturday 6 October 2018
Kick off: 7:30pm
As with all derbies, there was a lot of pride riding on this. For the first time, however, the two clubs were also playing a knock-out game, with the winner moving onto the FFA Cup Final. In some ways, that made this the most important derby game in recent seasons.
It was a shaky start for Sydney, with WSW coming out of the gates playing fast and not giving Sydney much time on the ball. Andrew Redmayne was all that stood between WSW and the back of the net, as he parried a shot low and to his right from a busy box. He made a few other good saves throughout the night, showing some strong ability in the air and as a shot-stopper. WSW really ruined their chances when Riera had a one-on-one with the keeper and chose to pass instead of shooting.
The second half showed a complete turn-around in fortunes. Winning the ball in midfield shortly after the restart, Siem De Jong put a perfectly weighted pass forward, setting Trent Buhagiar up to score his fourth goal of the FFA Cup run. Buhagiar looks like a completely different player since joining Sydney and will clearly give Corica a nice selection headache when all of the forward players are fit and available for selection.
Forum member WhatWouldTerryDo captured the scenes in The Cove after the goal:
De Jong capped off his performance with a marvelous free kick that was reminiscent of Mierzejewski’s efforts from last season: curling up and over the wall, unsaveable for the keeper. With the game entering its final phase, around the 75th minute, Adam Le Fondre found a dangling leg in the box and there was enough contact for the referee to award a penalty. He absolutely smashed it into the top of the net to make it 3-0. The second half performance will go down as one of the best we have had in a derby and was very similar to what we saw under Graham Arnold: soak up the pressure early in the game then clinically take the very first opportunity you are given before just steamrolling everyone before us. Long may it continue.
Also a final note of acknowledgement for Cameron Devlin making his senior debut. It’s great to see a Sydneysider coming through into the squad.
You can view the match highlights here: https://www.theffacup.com.au/video/full-time-highlights-western-sydney-wanderers-v-sydney-fc
- Sydney FC have only lost 1 of the last 14 derbies.
- Sydney’s records in away derbies is now 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses.
- The 3-0 win was the third highest margin in this fixture behind the 5-0 and 4-0 victories.
- Trent Buhagiar has scored 4 goals this season. This is equal to the total number scored by Milos Dimitrijevic, Brendon Santalab and Stuart Musialik.
- Redmayne – 8 – Made some absolutely key saves and very few errors throughout the game.
- Zullo – 6 – Was often pegged back in the first half but when he got forward he put in some good crosses as always.
- Van der Linden – 5 – Lost Riera once or twice and was out of position occasionally, but still put in some good challenges and his distribution was quite good.
- Wilkinson – 5.5 – Solid in defence, though most of the pressure was aimed at his centre back partner.
- Grant – 5 – Given a fair amount of freedom in the first half and less in the second. Deserves a bonus point for the mullet.
- Brillante – 6 – Some loose passes but he was well positioned and generally good.
- O’Neill – 5.5 – Typically tidy without doing anything spectacular.
- De Jong – 7 – A goal and an assist made for a great game. Dropped deep to help out very often and added a lot of movement in transition. Great touch and passing.
- Ninkovic – 6 – Some great dribbling and constantly caused defenders trouble. Worked well with Zullo.
- Buhagiar – 6 – A good finish for his goal. Not as influential as he was against NPL opposition but linked up well with Le Fondre.
- Le Fondre – 6.5 – Well taken penalty. Had a really high work rate which put the keeper and defence under pressure the whole game.
- Brosque (sub) – 5 – Harried the defence well, performing the old Matt Simon role.
- Retre (sub) – Not enough time to make an impact.
- Devlin (sub) – Not enough time to make an impact. Really got stuck in though.