Clinical Sydney FC ease past Wanderers in W-League derby

(Original article posted Oct 25, 2018 via www.smh.com.au, © 2018)

Sydney FC opened their W-League account in emphatic style, clinching three points and bragging rights with a clinical display against rivals Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday night.

A brace for Forward Caitlin Foord guided the Sky Blues to a 3-0 win at Marconi Stadium, drawing first blood in derby week for both clubs. Quality in front of goal was all that separated the two sides after the Wanderers created several chances they just couldn’t finish, while the ruthless Sky Blues created with ease and finished with accuracy.

After firing two early warning shots, the Sky Blues made their third count. Their American import Savannah McCaskill teased the Wanderers defence with a darting run through the middle before slipping a perfectly weighted through ball to find the run of Matildas forward Caitlin Foord. She made no mistake, comfortably rounding Western Sydney goalkeeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman to slot the opening goal in just the 13th minute.

However, the Wanderers almost hit back a minute later when Lo’eau LaBonta’s close-range finish shaved the wrong side of the crossbar.

For all their doggedness in midfield, Western Sydney were vulnerable in defence, particularly on the counter. McCaskill came close to doubling Sydney FC’s tally with a curling effort before setting up Lisa De Vanna on the half-hour mark. However, a poorly weighted ball to the Matilda let a good chance go begging.

De Vanna then had only herself to blame in the 38th minute when she spurned an almost certain goal with a heavy first touch when one-on-one against Mathyssen-Whyman.

Sydney were nearly punished for that miss when LaBonta’s powerful free kick tested Aubrey Bledsoe in goal before Leena Khamis’ speculative long-range strike almost dipped into the far corner of the net on the stroke of half-time.

The hosts continued to search for an equaliser after the break and former Sydney forward Remy Siemsen almost delivered that, her shot testing Bledsoe’s reflexes.

On the hour mark, the Sky Blues extended their grip on the contest and in some style. Logarzo fired a powerful bending effort into the far corner of the net and beyond Mathyssen-Whyman to make it 2-0.

Nevertheless, the Wanderers refused to surrender and LaBonta was distraught not to have clawed one back with what would have been an early contender for goal of the season — her long-range strike rattling the post.

But the Sky Blues’ class in the front third couldn’t be denied and with 15 minutes to go, a superb solo run by De Vanna made light work of the Wanderers defence and she slipped a simple pass for Foord to tap in for Sydney’s third.

Even then, the Wanderers refused to surrender as Khamis again came close from distance and then from a corner.