Wanderers beaten in fiery derby

A Terry Antonis winner has handed a 10-man Sydney FC victory over Western Sydney in a 4-3 blockbuster derby.

After going down 3-0 inside 25 minutes, the Wanderers clawed their way back into the A-League game but Sydney’s potent attack, which has scored 19 goals in the past five games, proved the difference at Parramatta Stadium.

Ante Covic gave the hosts the worst possible start, conceding an early own goal before a Marc Janko double put the Austrian striker at the top of the league’s goal-scorer list.

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Controversial new Wanderers attacker Kerem Bulut shot his own brace on debut, with Iacopo La Rocca also getting on the scoresheet.

But Antonis was to have the final say, netting the winner in the 75th minute.

Covic endured some nervous moments early in the match, but things were about to get much worse for the esteemed keeper.

Sydney midfielder Milos Dimitrijevic played the corner into the box and, in a goal-mouth scramble with Janko threatening, Covic somehow sent the ball into the back of his own net to hand Sydney a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.

It wasn’t long before Janko widened the gap, getting on the end of a Christopher Naumoff ball to put the Sky Blues 2-0 up in the 18th minute.

The marquee struck again just six minutes later with his eighth goal in five games, with defender Sebastian Ryall providing the long cross and Sydney racing to a 3-0 lead in 24 minutes.

But the Wanderers managed to get one back in the 33rd minute, with Brendan Hamill creating the chance and La Rocca scoring his first goal of the season.

Bulut, who was made the injury replacement for Brendon Santalab, then had the 19,484-strong crowd in raptures when he launched onto a Nikita Rukavytsya cross to score a sensational goal in the 42nd minute.

Bulut wasn’t done yet, emerging from the break to draw the hosts level in the 53rd minute. His long-range strike tore through the haze created by flares and into the back of the net.

Desperate to regain the lead, Sydney coach Graham Arnold made all three subs in four minutes, bringing super boot Shane Smeltz on for Janko, Rhyan Grant for Ryall and Antonis for Naumoff with less than half an hour remaining.

And it proved a masterstroke, as a superb finish from Antonis put Sydney 4-3 up in the 75th minute.

Sydney would end the game a man down after midfielder Mickael Tavares was sent off in the 83rd minute on his second yellow card for a foul on Mark Bridge.

Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic pulled off two great saves in extra time to deny Labinot Haliti and Yusuke Tanaka, and ensure Sydney went home victorious.


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