Sky Blues win Sydney derby after seven-goal thriller

Defending champions Sydney FC have moved into second after edging locals rivals the Western Sydney Wanderers 4-3 in an enthralling local derby on Wednesday.

Defending champions Sydney FC have moved into second after edging locals rivals the Western Sydney Wanderers 4-3 in an enthralling local derby on Wednesday.

Goals early in each half had the free-scoring Sky Blues four clear at the hour mark only for the Wanderers to display remarkable resilience with three late strikes to fall narrowly short of a famous result.

Home side Sydney FC opened in stunning fashion going two goals clear inside the opening ten minutes with Sam Kerr leading the Wanderers defence a merry dance at WIN Jubilee Oval.

Just four minutes in a lightning move upfield ended with Leena Khamis, playing in her new midfield role, releasing Kerr who skirted around goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold at pace and finished into an empty net.

Within two minutes Kerr was at it again breaking up the left wing this time and flicking past Arnold, only for the covering Catlin Cooper to hit her clearance into fellow defender Teigen Allen for an  unfortunate own goal.

The impressive Sky Blues continued to mount numerous attacks on a sluggish Wanderers defence and it seemed only a matter of time before another goal.

The Sky Blues could conceivably have been four clear by the quarter-hour mark as Teresa Polias' effort from wide hit the crossbar, while Renee Rollason did likewise with a free-kick.

It wasn't until the midway point of the half that the Wanderers mounted their first serious attempt on goal with the ever-dangerous Catherine Cannuli narrowly clearing the crossbar with her long-range effort.

Wanderers midfielder Emily van Egmond saw her goal chalked off in what appeared a controversial adjudication, while skipper Heather Garriock came close as the visitors finished the half strongly.

Any hopes of the Wanderers holding tight in the early stages of the second stanza soon dissipated as Kerr's dangerous run into the penalty area was illegally halted and Jodie Taylor easily converted the resultant penalty.

Taylor, not for the first time, was soon denied by the sharp reflexes of impressive Wanderers custodian Arnold.

Taylor then missed a sitter for the Sky Blues but made amends immediately by impressively setting up a fourth for Bolger on the hour mark. The midfielder having a strong claim as player of the match with a litany of incisive passes through the Wanderers defence.

The Sky Blues continued to create openings but it was the Wanderers who pulled a goal back ten minutes later. Substitute Michelle Carney nailed her second goal in as many matches with a smart header after getting on the end of Camille Levin's cross.

The Wanderers, inspired by the goal, suddenly found their mojo in midfield and netted twice within a matter of minutes to set up a grandstand finish.

Firstly, Garriock neatly converted from ten yards at the back post after another great assist from Levin.

The best, however, was left to last as Cannuli finished a stunning move at the back post following some incisive play from substitutes Helen Petinos and Carney.

Sydney FC 4 (Sam Kerr 5', Teigen Allen O.G. 7', Jodie Taylor 47', Nicola Bolger 58') Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Michelle Carney 70', Heather Garriock 78', Catherine Cannuli 81')

Sydney FC: Sham KHAMIS (gk), Teresa POLIAS, Alesha CLIFFORD, Leena KHAMIS, Nicola BOLGER (Trudy CAMILLERI 70'), Amy HARRISON, Renee ROLLASON (Danielle BROGAN 63'), Jodie TAYLOR, Emma KETE, Chloe LOGARZO, Sam KERR (Caitlin FOORD 80')

Substitutes – Casey DUMONT (gk)

Cautions – Leena Khamis 87', Jodie Taylor 90'

Western Sydney Wanderers: Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), Caitlin COOPER, Shawna GORDON, Emily VAN EGMOND, Heather GARRIOCK, Catherine CANNULI, Teigen ALLEN (Helen PETINOS 77'), Alanna KENNEDY, Linda O'NEILL (Michelle CARNEY 57'), Rachael SOUTAR, Servet UZUNLAR (Jess SEAMAN 50')

Substitutes – Dimi POULOS (gk)

Cautions – Heather Garriock 32', Caitlin Cooper 88'