In the week he was handed the Western Sydney Wanderers managerial role on a full-time basis, Mark Rudan breathed life into their Isuzu UTE A-League season with a 2-0 defeat of rivals Sydney FC in the derby.
Tomer Hemed’s first-half penalty gave the Wanderers the lead before a second-half Keanu Baccus header helped secure the victory.
The result condemned Sydney to their fifth straight game without a win and their first three-match losing streak since November 2013, leaving head coach Steve Corica searching for answers.
The Wanderers signalled their intent early as stand-in captain Adama Traore tested Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne in the opening five minutes.
Sydney’s sole first-half chance of any promise came when Rhyan Grant whipped in a cross from the right with English striker Adam Le Fondre attempting a poorly-executed backheel rather than testing Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush.
The Sky Blues struggled to contain the lively Ramy Najjarine who had two chances to put the Wanderers ahead before winning the penalty in the 37th minute when he was taken down by a lazy trip from James Donachie.
Hemed made no mistake from the spot as he blasted the ball straight down the middle for his fourth of the season as Redmayne dived to his left.
Sydney lost Elvis Kamsoba to a lower leg injury towards the end of the first half and their woes were compounded even further when Baccus netted after the break.
The Wanderers midfielder slipped the attention of Donachie at a Dimi Petratos corner and headed past Redmayne.
Corica turned to his bench, throwing Mustafa Amini and new Dutch signing Luciano Narsingh into the fray.
It seemed to have the desired effect with Narsingh immediately helping to set up Le Fondre only for the forward to hit the woodwork.
Another foray forward promised plenty but again Le Fondre was unable to force Margush into action.
Bernie Ibini, who had replaced Hemed, had two golden opportunities to inflict more misery on Sydney but couldn’t find the target.