A record 40,388 crowd and a spirited second half display from Sydney FC was not enough for the Sky Blues as they fell to two first half goals in the first Sydney Derby of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.
The sell-out crowd at Allianz Stadium witnessed an early header from Iacopo La Rocca followed by a Shinji Ono strike midway through first half, to hand the Western Sydney Wanderers the bragging rights.
Head Coach Frank Farina was forced into two changes from the team that started against Brisbane Roar a week earlier with injured duo Alessandro Del Piero and Pedj Bojic replaced by Mitch Mallia and Tiago Calvano while Matt Thompson made way for Rhyan Grant.
The opening exchanges were nervous and tense with the only chance of note being an eighth minute Ali Abbas free kick that sailed high over the bar.
Sydney were pressing and allowed the Wanderers little time on the ball as the Sky Blues chased down any threats, with Nick Carle particularly troublesome in his more advanced role dispossessing Beauchamp more than once.
Warren and Ryall were proving to be Sydney’s main points of attack as they ventured down either flank but with little joy as the Sky Blues struggled to find that penetrative ball.
The Wanderers took the lead on the 12th minute after an innocuous looking free kick from Ono deep in the right channel was allowed to float across the Sky Blues box. Iacapo La Rocca out-muscled his marker to head home from the six yard line.
A series of fouls dominated the following proceedings as both sides found time on the ball hard to come by.
On the 26th minute the Wanderers were in again. Shinji Ono attempted a deft flick over the Sydney defence which failed but the resulting ricochet landed at his feet and he was able to slot home from close range.
The game was being played at a relentless pace as Sydney rallied and won a free kick in the 32nd minute just beyond half way. Nikola Petkovic stepped up for the Sky Blues, smashing the underside of Covic’s cross bar.
The players were able to catch their breath as play was stopped when Grant was taken off in the 40th minute with a knee injury; Matt Thompson coming on as his replacement.
Sydney FC continued to push with Mallia sending a long distance shot over the bar, before the referee blew for half time.
Farina made one change at the start of the second half bringing on Yairo Yau for Mallia and it almost had an immediate effect as Garcia broke down the left sending in a low cross that just missed Yau’s outstretched foot.
Sydney FC looked the brighter of the two teams in the early exchanges and the Cove were soon off their feet appealing for a penalty in the 64th minute.
Ali Abbas showed a neat piece of skill to turn his marker and break into the box before he went down, however referee Strebre Delovski waved the appeals away.
A spate of yellow cards followed as the Sky Blues had to whether a storm of Western Sydney attacks, as Vedran Janjetovic kept the Wanderers at bay.
Sydney’s best chance of the second period came in the 77th minute as Yairo Yau hit the side netting.
Nick Carle tracked back tackling Shinji Ono before turning and advancing towards the byline. He whipped in a deep cross that found Yau unmarked at the far post who shaped for the volley but hit it wide.
The pace of the game slowed as Western Sydney sat back content with defending their lead, although they did hit the post late on from a Jerome Polenz free kick.
With four minutes of stoppage time added, Sydney FC pushed bodies forward but to no avail as the full time whistle sounded.
The Sky Blues will head to Perth next week looking to change their fortunes before another bumper crowd is expected when Melbourne Victory visit Allianz Stadium in two weeks time.
Sydney FC 0 def. by Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (12’ La Rocca, 26’ Ono)
Referee: Strebre Delovski.
Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Marc WARREN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA, 13. Tiago CALVANO, 14. Mitchell MALLIA (46’ Yairo YAU), 16. Joel CHIANESE, 19. Nick CARLE(c), 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT (40’ Mattew THOMPSON).
Subs not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 5. Matthew JURMAN, 27. Christopher NAUMOFF.
Yellow cards:- Chianese 40′, Warren 69′, Abbas 73′, Carle 88′.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1. Ante COVIC (GK), 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP(c), 6. Jerome POLENZ, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 9. Tomi JURIC (77’ Shannon COLE), 17. Youssouf HERSI (46’ Brendon SANTALAB), 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Shinji ONO (86’ Tahj MINNIECON).
Subs not used: 20. Jerrad TYSON (GK), 23. Jason TRIFIRO.
Yellow Cards:- D’Apuzzo 30′, Polenz 53′, Juric 62′, Bridge 63′, Santalab 70′.