Sky Blues Fall In Inaugural Derby

Sydney FC’s PlayStation 4 NPL 2 NSW Mens side have gone down 3-1 to the Western Sydney Wanderers in the inaugural NPL Derby at Lambert Park Leichhardt on Saturday.

Second half goals to Tariq Maia and Lachlan Scott added to Alusine Fofanah’s first half effort to cancel out Charles Lokolingoy’s strike for the Sky Blues and seal the win in an end to end encounter.

In a frenetic opening it was the Sky Blues who settled first, with Lokolingoy and Chris Zuvela threatening, however the Wanderers took the lead just past the half hour as Alusine Fofanah was allowed to cut inside on the edge of the box before powerfully driving past Mitch Evans in goals.

The strike spurred the Sky Blues into action, with Spyrakis, Zuvela and Araujo dictating play, and 10 minutes after the opener Sydney FC drew level through NPL top scorer Charles Lokolingoy.

Collecting the ball at right back, Nicola Kuleski sent a lofted ball into the path of Charles Lokolingoy, and with the Wanderers defender slipping in recovery the big striker was afforded time and space in the area to blast beyond Symes from close range.

Heading in at the break level, it was Sydney FC that started the second half the brighter, with Antoniou linking up with Araujo twice in quick succession to threaten on goal.

It was the Wanderers that again took the lead, just before the hour mark, as a quick counter ended with Tariq Maia wriggling his way into the area before toe poking an effort beyond a despairing Evans into the bottom corner.

With valuable Club Championship points on the line, both sides threw everything in in the last half hour as a spate of fouls slowed proceedings with Steven Lucas in control of the match.

Cristian Gonzalez spurred a prime chance to equalise as his volley was deftly saved by Symes from close range, before Antoniou rattled the cross bar with a venomous header five minutes later.

The Sky Blues continued their search for an equaliser as the game entered the final 15 minutes, as substitute Emmanuel Gonzalez was just outpaced by a neatly threaded through ball from Spyrakis with only the keeper to beat.

Antoniou curled a free kick agonizingly over with two minutes remaining before the Wanderers sealed the win with a third goal on the counter attack as Lachlan Scott was picked out by Devlin to prod home from point blank range.

Victory for the Wanderers sees the Sky Blues move to second on the Club Championship standing, with the Sydney FC’s U18’s side suffering defeat while the U20’s claimed a 3-0 victory.

Sydney FC: Evans (gk); Kuleski; Flottman; Timotheou; Curtis (69’ Zapata); Spyrakis (c); Zuvela; Araujo; Antoniou; Lokolingoy (69’ E.Gonzalez); C.Gonzalez.

Subs: Dragicevic (gk); Green; Avery.

Sydney FC 2016/17 Memberships on sale June. Register your interest by signing up at http://my.sydneyfc.com