Sydney FC take Liberty A-League Derby bragging rights

Matildas World Cup hopeful Remy Siemsen has broken Western Sydney Wanderers’ hearts by sealing victory for 10-woman Sydney FC in the first Sydney derby of the season.

After a see-sawing 82 minutes, super-sub Siemsen confirmed the 1-0 result with her first goal since returning to the A-League Women competition after a stint in Sweden.

Her powerful strike from just outside the box spoiled the Wanderers’ hopes of causing the upset that had appeared possible when they came out of halftime firing.

Sydney captain Nat Tobin was shown her first yellow card in the 32nd minute for a challenge on Wanderers recruit Melissa Caceres and then had her second after a handball in the shadows of half-time. 

The dismissal left the defending premiers a woman down for the remainder of the contest and swung the momentum to the underdogs.  

Before Tobin’s red, the Wanderers had moved the ball well but only Sophie Harding appeared a serious chance to break the deadlock as Western Sydney struggled for rhythm in the final third.

The star-studded Sky Blues had better chances but could not turn pressure into goals.

Most notably, Cortnee Vine could not take advantage of a Princess Ibini-Isei cross in the 25th minute, instead slipping over in the area and missing a great chance.

After managing only three shots to Sydney’s 13 in the first half, Western Sydney came out of the sheds determined to capitalise on their personnel advantage and enjoyed the bulk of early opportunities.

An unmarked Harding crossed to Tess Boade on the burst in the 50th minute but the American could not ice the chance.

Shortly afterwards, the Wanderers lost Caceres to an apparent left hamstring injury and replaced her with Holly Caspers.

“We’ll assess (Caceres) tomorrow,” Wanderers coach Kat Smith said.

But it was Sydney’s own substitute Siemsen who sealed the result with a beautiful goal that surely would not have gone unnoticed by national coach Tony Gustavsson.

“I’m just focused on playing my game, my natural game,” Siemsen said, shrugging off Matildas speculation.

“For us to get the result with a player down is just unbelievable and goes to show we can go all the way this year.

“It showed a lot of character from us to be able to get the three points.”

Sydney’s win at Marconi Stadium means the Wanderers have not defeated their rivals since December 2019 but Smith said there were positives to take from the defeat.

“I can’t fault the girls and their effort,” she said.

“It burns a little bit to concede the way we did but outside of that, I thought we had really good control of the game.

“The platform we have now to keep going forward … I’m really happy.”