Sydney FC claim derby bragging rights

Sydney FC eased past Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 to put one hand on the Westfield W-League premiership for finishing first past the post.

Sydney FC eased past Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 to put one hand on the Westfield W-League premiership for finishing first past the post.

The Sky Blues edged a memorable 4-3 win over their city rivals a few weeks back but the Wanderers struggled to stay in touch this time around after falling two goals down by the half-time break.

Sydney went ahead through Leena Khamis before Jodie Taylor netted either side of the half-time break at Campbelltown Stadium.

The match ended in fairytale fashion as Catherine Canulli scored from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game in her final home match before retirement.

A string of saves from Wanderers’ goalkeeper Dimi Poulos, who demonstrated why she has kept Matildas’ squad member Mackenzie Arnold out of the starting side, saved the home side from a heavier defeat.

The Sky Blues, who were seeking to bounce back from their first loss of the campaign in midweek against Canberra United, broke the deadlock after just eight minutes through Campbelltown-raised Khamis who finished coolly thanks to Taylor’s assist.

Cannuli seemed set to draw the home side level almost instantly but her seemingly goal-bound shot from the edge of the penalty was superbly finger-tipped over the crossbar by Casey Dumont.

Kingsley at the back post tested Dumont from an acute angle, and then nearly produced a goal for the ages with a long range shot from distance that seemed set to dip under the crossbar only to strike the woodwork.

Taylor rounded Poulos as the Sky Blues made one of their trademark defence-splitting attacks but the Englishwoman was narrowly unable to find the net from an awkward angle.

Then it was the Wanderers turn to miss the target by a whisker with Servet Uzunlar’s run and shot clipping the top of the crossbar.

Sydney FC it was, however, that doubled their lead eight minutes before the break with Taylor profiting from Khamis’ pass before turning a desperate challenge and slipping the ball past the exposed Poulos.

Emma Kete could have put the match out of sight in the opening minutes of the second period but Poulos made a great stop as the Sky Blues’ striker bore down on goal.

Poulos again denied the league’s top goalscorer Taylor who very nearly lobbed the Wanderers’ custodian after latching onto an inch-perfect pass from deep.

Taylor, however, was not to be denied and she swept home from close range at the back post thanks to a smart assist from half-time substitute Chloe Logarzo.

Emily Van Egmond then hit the underside of the bar with a spectacular long-range effort as the Wanderers remarkably hit the frame of the goal for a third time.

The Sky Blues always looked likely to extend the winning margin, however it was the Wanderers that completed the scoring with Canulli winning and converting a penalty in the final minute of injury time.

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Catherine Canulli 95′)

Sydney FC 3 (Leena Khamis 8′, Jodie Taylor 37′, 57′)   

Western Sydney Wanderers: Dimi POULOS (gk), Caitlin COOPER, Emily VAN EGMOND, Rachel SOUTAR (Jessica SEAMAN 48′), Jenna KINGSLEY (Tori HUSTER 60′), Server UZUNLAR, Catherine CANNULI, Alanna KENNEDY (Jordan BAKER 70′), Teigen ALLEN, Linda O’NEILL, Helen PETINOS,

Substitutes – Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk)

Cautions – Linda O’Neill 62′, Servet Uzunlar 69′

Sydney FC: Casey DUMONT (gk) (Sham KHAMIS 81′), Teresa POLIAS, Danielle BROGAN, Liz RALSTON, Amy HARRISON, Caitlin FOORD, Renee ROLLASON, Trudy CAMILLERI (Chloe LOGARZO 46′), Jodie TAYLOR, Emma KETE (Sam KERR 76′), Leena KHAMIS

Substitutes – Nicola Bolger

Cautions – None