Troisi equaliser helps Wanderers extend Sydney Derby unbeaten run
James Troisi conceded a penalty before equalising in the space of five minutes to keep Western Sydney Wanderers’ unbeaten run against Sydney FC alive and earn a 1-1 draw with the reigning Champions in Saturday’s Sydney derby at Stadium Australia.
An entertaining 26th Sydney derby exploded into life after the hour mark when Troisi’s foul on Milos Ninkovic saw Kosta Barbarouses strike unerringly from the penalty spot.
But the ex-Socceroo Troisi popped up with the equaliser after an uncharacteristic error from Andrew Redmayne allowed Troisi to slide the ball into an empty net.
It was an equaliser the Red and Black – shaded by their rivals in the opening half – merited thanks to a lively second half display.
The Wanderers are now five matches unbeaten in the derby, the club’s longest ever streak against Sydney.
Fresh from a fortnight’s rest, Sydney flew out of the blocks at Stadium Australia and forced Margush into two good early saves inside the opening three minutes.
The first arrived when Milos Ninkovic led a breakaway for the Sky Blues and slid Barbarouses through, but the former Adelaide United shot stopper was out bravely to smother the New Zealand international’s effort.
Margush was called into action shortly after as the Wanderers rearguard were exposed in behind again. This time Buhagiar caught the Red and Black defenders off-guard but again Steve Corica’s men were stopped by Margush.
Western Sydney steadied and nearly snatched the lead when Tass Mourdoukoutas fired the ball goalward after James Troisi’s corner was only partially cleared away by the Sydney defence. Paulo Retre was on hand to clear the ball off the line for the reigning Champions.
A close call indeed for Sydney, who then gave the Wanderers an even bigger scare and went closer to breaking the first half deadlock through Buhagiar. The former Central Coast Mariners flyer played a lovely interchange on the edge of the box and clattered the ball against the post.
Western Sydney looked more lively in the second half. Sydney FC skipper Alex Wilkinson made a crucial intervention, nicking in before Cox was due to meet Troisi’s cutback with a run to the near post.
The Red and Black then had their heads in their hands when Muller spurned a golden chance to open the lead. Troisi wedged a fantastic ball over the top for the German, but the former 185-game Bundesliga man miscued his lob over Redmayne.
Sydney – and Ninkovic – made the Wanderers pay. The Serbian maestro played a swift one-two with Barbarouses and continued his run into the penalty area before a collision with Troisi saw the referee Alex King point to the spot. Barbarouses buried the penalty into the bottom right hand corner.
But the Wanderers rallied. Graham Dorrans’ rasping drive was valiantly blocked by Luke Brattan, before Troisi atoned for his foul on Ninkovic courtesy of an uncharacteristic error from Redmayne.
The Socceroos goalkeeper came out to prevent Russell from latching onto Dorrans’ pass but spilled the ball into the path of Troisi who made no mistake.