Mitch Duke receives key to El Jannah after Derby heroics

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Holy shit.. Sydney is Red and Black.

Sydney FC have only lost two matches this season, against who? Western Sydney Wanderers. 

This match had a bit of a rollercoaster in the lead up. The original fixture was rescheduled for a Friday night, moving Sydney FC’s Phoenix fixture cos no one in NSW seems to care about Wellington. You would imagine those poor bastards have Air New Zealand insurance. 

Then we had the weird lead up throughout the week. Normally Derby week is a lot of slander and banter in all forms, but this week the RBB took it too far by making a post in poor taste which forced a non-apology from the RBB. Other than that there was a bit of back and forth but not very much oomph in the air. Regardless, Friday still had energy. 

Jubilee Oval in Kogarah hosted its first Sydney Derby and the atmosphere, the noise was insane. Unfortunately it wasn’t without its problems. We saw images of fans lined up very far, from the entry, up to 10 minutes in. Which would’ve really sucked. There’s few things more frustrating then being stuck outside while the game is on. But to focus on the positives, we all knew a smaller stadium was going to absolutely bang with both supporter bases at full voice.

The game itself was interesting. In the beginning, I just kept waiting for that derby moment but you know what, it took a while. I found myself curious as to what the night will bring after watching a Redmayne brain fart as well as Baumjohann and Le Fondre close-shots-but-still-a-miss. 

Western Sydney stamped their authority early in the game but Ref Ali also stamped his explaining he wouldn’t be taking any shit through a Schwegler yellow in the 11th.

While at times it felt as though the Wanderers were leading this game, Sydney FC decided to play more on the counter. With every counter attack looking more promising than the last.

As the boys in sky blue increased their momentum and were in charge of play, the RBB thought it would be wise to signal the team to assist Dani Lopar as the Wanderers as a whole looked to be in distress. They signalled their distress by ripping a few flares in their little away bay. How considerate. I wonder if JP has thought of this technique when McGowan is doing something stupid up back.

In the 38th minute we nearly had another Robbie Slater repeat from the last Derby when Georgievski’s ‘shot’ forced Redmayne to make a feet behind the line but hands in front save. It looked pretty damn close to over the line to me however Robbie Slater was in comms and did confirm it was not over the line so it has in fact been authorised by the expert.

Sydney FC’s best moment of the first half came in the dying seconds of stoppage time from a Kosta Barbarouses kind-of-volley, just missing goal.

The first half was a bit basic. So if every Sydney Derby has taught us anything, the second half will have fireworks.

However there was a period there where the most exciting thing to happen was Fox panning over to some Rugby League (Serbian?) brothers (still, who?) and Ref Ali tripping over his own feet and doing a little tumble. 

Until the 81st minute.

Mitchell Duke.

Tate Russell sent in a stock standard cross into the box and El Capitano Mitch Duke somehow, while slightly leaning backwards, beat his man to the ball and found enough power to header it in to the far right. Western fucking Sydney Wanderers have taken the lead.

But then, in todays edition of Daniel Georgievski doing stupid things, Georgievski slide tackles Marco Tilio with studs up and boots ending up in the face after a tumble. Because when you’re 1-0 up in the dying minutes, why not celebrate with a dangerous tackle. This tackle being as harsh as it was, obviously revved up both parties and we ended up with a little Derby aggression. Initially the ref handed Daniel a yellow but after going to the VAR, they overturned it to a straight red. Hilariously when the ref advised of this decision, he walked up to Daniel, shook his hand and then handed him a red. Pure shithousery.

The full time whistle blows and Sydney FC finish the evening with a bruised ego, WSW finish the evening with 10 men and Georgievski finishes the evening staring with anger from afar.

While the Wanderers beating their cross-town rivals 1-0 should’ve been a joyous occasion for Wanderers fans, for many at the stadium, it was not. * Please Note * I was not at the stadium and these are all things I have been told by good friends and have read from many different people on Twitter. 

Ripping a flare in the RBB provoked a heavier police presence around the RBB which is understandable as flares, yes make for a fantastic atmosphere, they are also illegal here. However the allegations I’m hearing are of those that had nothing to do with this, while it is hard to find those that did rip a flare amongst this group, it also isn’t right to assume the entire fanbase is guilty. Many are claiming they were not issued a warning for things like, standing on a chair, while being rowdy in an active area (being rowdy is being active, being aggressive is not). Instead of issued a warning, they were physically assaulted, they claim. No warnings and dragged out of the stadium. Some of these people were also minors.

Everything I have heard was their raw emotions as it had just happened and it sounded absolutely frightening. I cannot imagine how much that would affect me, mentally, if I were dragged out of the stadium for something so minor with no warning. It’s very easy to say ‘they shouldn’t be standing on chairs’ but use your common sense, it’s active support, you get carried away in the moment. I’ve done it before. Something happens on the pitch, you jump, it’s like that moment when you have to move, your limbs do things. I’ve done it before, I’m short, I’ve gone to jump on a chair to see better in a nail biting moment and you know what happened? Security told me to get down, so I did. 

I’ll leave it at that because I really could go on all day. I’m so happy for my Wanderers supporting friends and will not bother my Sydney FC supporting friends for a few days cos, yeah they won’t be in a good place.

Oh also, Corica swore at Georgievski in the tunnel at full time lol. There’s a vid floating around of it, it’s hilarious.

By Rose Valente

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