Sydney Derby (A-League)

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Sydney Derby
Uniforms
City or region Sydney
Teams involved Sydney FC &
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
First contested 20 October 2012
Number of meetings 6
Most wins Western Sydney (3)
Top scorer

Alessandro Del Piero (2)

Shinji Ono (2)
Largest victory

Sydney 0–2 Western Sydney (2012, 2013)

Sydney 3-1 Western Sydney (2014)

The Sydney Derby is a local soccer derby contested between the Australian A-League's two Sydney clubs Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC.[1] Contested for the first time on 20 October 2012, historical, cultural and sporting factors have resulted in the derby being considered one of Australian soccer's biggest club games and [2] the biggest rivalry in the A-League. Crowd sentiment at Derby matches has been said by Alessandro Del Piero to produce atmosphere and emotions similar to those in Europe,[3] while Wanderers player Mateo Poljak stated that the 6th Sydney Derby had an atmosphere that was the best he had experienced as a player. [4]

Origins[edit]

The competitive nature of the Sydney Derby is largely based upon the historical, cultural and geographical divide between Western Sydney (home to Western Sydney Wanderers FC) and eastern and southern Sydney (the catchment area for Sydney FC).[5] The cultural makeup of the two clubs fits into this wider divide. As Sydney FC began their life in the Eastern Suburbs they took on the "Bling FC" moniker, with the ownership intent on building Sydney FC into the "glamour club" of the A-League.[6] When the Wanderers began their supporters quickly began to push the club towards a working class ethic and one that represented local players and the Western Sydney region.[7]

The rivalry between the two clubs also stems from the A-League's establishment. Prior to the introduction of Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League, the only club to be based in the city was Sydney FC as part of FFA's 'one-city, one-team' philosophy for the newly established league. This deal gave Sydney FC a five-year city exclusivity, allowing the club grow throughout the region without competition. Though Sydney FC was not fully embraced by the region, as the clubs original intention to play at Parramatta Stadium was later changed by FFA chairman Frank Lowy.[8] Lowy's forcing of the club to move to Sydney Football Stadium left many football fans in Sydney's west feeling alienated from the club.[9] Sydney FC's exclusion of the western region soon mirrored the pre-existing cultural and social divide of the city.

In 2008, FFA sought to introduce the new Western Sydney-based Sydney Rovers into the A-League. This later proved unsuccessful with the club dissolving due to technical and financial reasons. During the time period prior to the disbanding of Sydney Rovers, two matches hosted by Sydney FC were played at Parramatta Stadium. In the first, a pocket of supporters came out bearing banners in support of the new Western Sydney team with the Sydney FC active support group The Cove responding by chanting against the new clubs support.[10]

On 4 April 2012, the collapse of Gold Coast United brought about the creation of the Western Sydney Wanderers.[11] FFA's decision for the club to be community oriented proved successful with the local Western Sydney community soon backing the club, a club they had long called for, one that would represent the western region.[12]

Competitive matches[edit]

The two clubs first met in the 2012–13 A-League season, on 20 October 2012. The match, hosted by Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium, was considered to be the most anticipated match of the season.[13][14] The first ever derby was expected to sell out; the city rivalry alone would 'sell itself'.[15] Western Sydney Wanderers manager Tony Popovic spoke about how the match was "special for the players and coaching staff" and that he considered that the rivalry between the two clubs was already building and would one day be the "biggest rivalry in our game".[16] Alessandro Del Piero scored the only goal of the game, for Sydney FC. After winning a penalty, he was forced to re-take a successful first penalty due to his team encroaching in the penalty area, his second attempt was saved by Ante Covic but Del Piero pounced on the rebound and shot over the head of Covic.

The second Derby took place at the Sydney Football Stadium in front of 26,176 supporters and saw the Wanderers win their first Derby. With Del Piero on the bench due to an injury cloud, the Wanderers began the stronger, and Youssouf Hersi scored the first ever Wanderers goal in a Sydney Derby, after latching onto a knock-down from Joey Gibbs. The Wanderers doubled their lead with 13 minutes to play, as Wanderers captain and ex-Sydney FC player Michael Beauchamp attacked a low drive across the goal-mouth from Shinji Ono, his side-foot shot beating the Sydney FC goalkeeper.[17]

The third Sydney Derby saw the Western Sydney Wanderers with the chance to win the A-League premiership in their first ever year. A win would see them lift the trophy at Parramatta Stadium against their rivals. In the 34th minute Nikolai Topor-Stanley produced a calamitous error to gift Del Piero the ball, and the Italian striker opened the scoring. The match also included an astonishing 8 yellow cards and 2 straight red cards. Brett Emerton the Sydney FC captain saw the first straight red card for a lunging feet first challenge on Shannon Cole. Cole then equalised for the Wanderers in the 69th minute. The second red card of the night went to Iacopo La Rocca as the Wanderers searched for a title winning goal, when held back by a Sydney FC player La Rocca lashed out with his elbow. The Wanderers were unable to win the match and the Premiership on the night, securing their Premiership a week later in Newcastle.[18]

The fourth derby match was played in front of a sold-out crowd of over 40,000 people. After attending the match at Sydney Football Stadium, Rugby league journalist Phil Rothfield commented that the match had "proved the round-ball game has not just arrived but is bigger than rugby union and closing in on AFL and NRL."[19] The Wanderers were dominant on the pitch and in the stands, scoring two goals that could easily have been more, while Sydney FC lacked penetration with their attack missing talisman Del Piero.

The fifth took place at Parramatta Stadium, again with a sold-out crowd and once again an ex-Sydney FC player scored for the Wanderers. The Wanderers dominated the match, striking the crossbar and posts on several occasions, including a long-range chip from Hersi that nearly caught Sydney FC keeper Vedran Janjetovic off his line, with the rebound falling to Tomi Juric who smashed his shot into the stands. Brendon Santalab scored the only goal of the match in the 86th minute. After only 5 matches the rivalry has been reported as being "one of the fiercest in Australia", and the Wanderers as having begun a pattern of one-sided dominance, having now won 3 out of the 5 matches, with 1 draw and 1 victory for Sydney FC.[20]

The sixth derby, the final regular season derby for the 2013/14 A-League season took place at the Sydney Football Stadium. The match attracted a sold-out crowd of 40,285. This was 13,003 higher than the 27,282 who attended the National Rugby League's first match of the season between South Sydney & the Sydney Roosters.[21] The crowd witnessed Sydney FC win their first home derby match.[4] After a staid first half with limited highlights, the second half exploded into life as Shinji Ono pounced on a knock down from Brendon Santalab to open the scoring. The Wanderers had the chance to go two goals ahead after Richard Garcia gave away a penalty, but ex-Sydney FC player Mark Bridge had his penalty shot saved by Vedran Janjetovic. Sydney FC then equalised after Ante Covic sliced a clearing punch into the face of Matthew Jurman and saw the ball rebounded into goal. A calamatous error from another ex-Sydney FC player, Michael Beauchamp, saw him gift the ball to Richard Garcia, who tapped past Ante Covic into an open net. Ali Abbas scored a penalty during injury time to make the score 3-1. The game also featured an allegation that Wanderers player Brendon Santalab culturally abused Abbas, who took extreme offence and charged around the pitch, having to be restrained by his team-mates. In a post-game interview Abbas said, "We are not here to attack religion or culture, we are here to play football".[22]

League[edit]

# Date R. Home team Score Away team Goals (home) Goals (away) Venue Attendancea
1 20 October 2012 3 Western Sydney 0 – 1 Sydney Del Piero (54) Parramatta Stadium 19,126
2 15 December 2012 11 Sydney 0 – 2 Western Sydney Hersi (24), Beauchamp (77) Sydney Football Stadium 26,176
3 23 March 2013 26 Western Sydney 1 – 1 Sydney Cole (70) Del Piero (34) Parramatta Stadium 19,585
4 26 October 2013 3 Sydney 0 – 2 Western Sydney La Rocca (11), Ono (26) Sydney Football Stadium 40,388
5 11 January 2014 14 Western Sydney 1 – 0 Sydney Šantalab (86) Parramatta Stadium 18,080
6 8 March 2014 22 Sydney 3 – 1 Western Sydney Jurman (59), Garcia (75), Abbas (90+3 pen.) Ono (49) Sydney Football Stadium 40,285
7 18 October 2014 2 Sydney Western Sydney Sydney Football Stadium
8 29 November 2014 8 Western Sydney Sydney Parramatta Stadium
9 28 February 2015 20 Western Sydney Sydney Parramatta Stadium

a Attendances listed in bold were official sell-outs

Club Pld W D L GF GA GD
Western Sydney 6 3 1 2 7 5 2
Sydney 6 2 1 3 5 7 −2

All-time top scorers[edit]

Rank Player Club Goals
1 Alessandro Del Piero Sydney 2
Shinji Ono Western Sydney
2 Youssouf Hersi Western Sydney 1
Michael Beauchamp Western Sydney
Shannon Cole Western Sydney
Iacopo La Rocca Western Sydney
Brendon Šantalab Western Sydney
Matthew Jurman Sydney
Richard Garcia Sydney
Ali Abbas Sydney

Players in bold are still active at their Sydney club.

Shared history[edit]

Played for both clubs[edit]

Player Sydney Western Sydney
Michael Beauchamp 2011–2012 2012–2014
Mark Bridge 2008–2012 2012–
Shannon Cole 2008–2012 2012–
Joey Gibbs 2010 2012–2013
Brendon Šantalab 2007–2009 2013–
Nikolai Topor-Stanley 2006–2007 2012–

Played for one club, managed the other[edit]

Manager Sydney Western Sydney
Tony Popovic 2007–2008 2012– (mgr.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sydney FC's 2012/13 draw announced". Sydney FC. Football Federation Australia. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  2. ^ References to support the importance of the Derby:
  3. ^ "In a short space of time, the Sydney derby has fast become the A-League biggest rivalry". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "A-League R22 review: best Sydney derby yet, Roar push clear at top, Heart finally stopped". dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 10 March. 
  5. ^ References to support the origins of the rivalry:
  6. ^ "Sydney FC emerging as new league's glamour club". smh.com.au. 27 October 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Simon Hill's Football Journeys: Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "NSW 'cut ties' with new club over Lowy". smh.com.au. 12 December 2004. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "The underdog bites – the Western Sydney Wanderers story". greenleft.org.au. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Rovers hurtling towards their A-League destiny". smh.com.au. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  11. ^ References to support section about Gold Coast United:
  12. ^ FOOTBALL COMES HOME: The Early Days of Western Sydney Wanderers FC
  13. ^ "Fixture & Results". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Western Sydney handed derby debut". smh.com.au. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Larkin, Steve (14 October 2012). "Nothing beats magic of first derby day for Popovic". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Popovic says Wanderers won't be left wondering in derby". The Australian. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Western Sydney Wanderers gain revenge on Sydney FC with 2-0 win". dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Stone Cole Stunner Salvages Point After Topor-Stanley Shocker". westsydneyfootball.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Monday Buzz: Soccer bigger in Sydney than any other code". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Familiar pain for Sydney FC as Wanderers sneak past". smh.com.au. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  21. ^ "Low crowds a concern for NRL". au.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 10 March. 
  22. ^ "Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab denies racism allegations from incident in Sydney derby". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 10 March.