Del Piero magic seals Sydney FC derby victory

The legend of Alessandro Del Piero will forever be rusted onto Sydney Derby folklore after scoring the only goal in a dramatic, passionate and tense clash, taken out 1-0 by Sydney FC at Parramatta Stadium tonight.

The legend of Alessandro Del Piero will forever be rusted onto Sydney Derby folklore after scoring the only goal in a dramatic, passionate and tense clash, taken out 1-0 by Sydney FC at Parramatta Stadium tonight.

The goal was as dramatic as the match as Del Piero was forced to retake a penalty kick, had his second penalty saved and then smashed home the rebound to give Sydney FC all three points and claim cross town bragging rights.

Sydney FC coach Ian Crook made three changes to the side that went down last Saturday, elevating Paul Reid, Sebastian Ryall and Rhyan Grant to the starting side in place of Terry McFlynn, Dimi Petratos and the injured Adam Griffiths. Crook also pushed Brett Emerton into a more advanced role on the right hand side of midfield.

The game started at breakneck speed with both sides ensuring the Sydney Derby started with the passion and spice it deserved. There were some tough tackles, half chances and both teams tried to play football with the ball on the ground.

Ali Abbas had the first half chance when a far post header went wide but the game really came to life in the 10th minute when an audacious Del Piero free kick sailed inches over the cross bar from 40m with Ante Covic struggling.

Del Piero had another shot, this time saved by Covic, in the 11th minute as the Sky Blues were the first team to settle into a rhythm. Sydney FC were playing with more balance, especially through the midfield but Mallia and Emerton created some hassles down the flanks and Del Piero and Lovrek looked dangerous through the middle.

Western Sydney also looked lively down its right hand side with Fabio and Labinot Haliti enjoying a ding-dong battle befitting any derby. The Wanderers worked their way into the game midway through the first half with Ivan Necevski needed to make two good saves to deny Aaron Mooy and Mark Bridge.

While Western Sydney did push forward, Sydney refused to be pegged back and through some slick passing Lovrek and Del Piero had half chances before Ryall hoit the post with a header.

The teams went to half time locked at 0-0 but the 19,126 fans certainly had value for their money in the opening 45 minutes.

After the break the crowd was treated to more of the same as Sydney FC and the Wanderers came out with intent and the goal the game needed came in dramatic circumstances in the 53rd minute through, who else but Alessandro Del Piero.

The Italian maestro earned Sydney FC a penalty after beating three players in the penalty area before he was hacked down by Mooy. His first attempt at the spot kick was successful but had to be re-taken after Sydney FC players encroached into the area. The second attempt was saved by Covic but Del Piero was first to the rebound and slotted the ball home.

The Sydney FC players rushed to the Sky Blues fans and the legend of Del Piero was stamped all over the first Sydney Derby.

Amid the rush of second half substitutes, Crook also handed Australian U20 international Daniel Petkovski is Sydney FC debut when he replaced Fabio in the 73rd minute.

The second half was action packed with both sides creating space and in turn chances but neither side could find another goal.

The full time whistle was greeted by cheers and song from the Blue half of the crowd, a a tune they will sing until the next Derby at Allianz Stadium on 15 December.

Sydney FC-s attention now switches to ANZ Stadium (Homebush) for next Sunday afternoon-s round 4 clash with Perth Glory in what is the first Hyundai A-League clash at ANZ Stadium. Kick off is 5.00pm.

Sydney FC 1 (Alessandro Del Piero 53) d Western Sydney 0 Parramatta Stadium Referee: Strebre Delovski Crowd: 19,126

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski, 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Fabio (25. Daniel Petkovski ‘73), 7. Brett Emerton (c), 9. Paul Reid (15. Terry McFlynn ‘79), 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 14. Mitch Mallia, 18. Trent McClenahan, 19. Kruno Lovrek (17. Terry Antonis ‘61), 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Rhyan Grant. Sub not used: 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk) Yellow cards: Emerton 9, Abbas 43, Necevski 74.

Western Sydney: 1. Ante Covic, 3. Adam D-Apuzzo, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5. Michael Beauchamp (c), 6. Jerome Polenz, 7. Labinot Haliti (17. Youssouf Hersi ‘66), 8. Mateo Poljak (11. Tarek Elrich ‘76), 9. Dino Kresinger, 10. Aaron Mooy, 19. Mark Bridge, 21. Shinji Ono. Sub not used: 20. Jerrad Tyson (gk) and 18. Iacopo La Rocca. Yellow cards: Mateo Poljak 64, Michael Beauchamp 88.