March 01, 2015 09:12:27 UK
Marc Janko scored twice to take the lead in the A-League’s Golden Boot chase as Sydney FC beat Western Sydney 4-3 in a thrilling match at Pirtek Stadium.
The Austrian striker netted twice in the first half as the Sky Blues took what looked like a decisive 3-0 lead.
Wanderers staged a remarkable recovery to level the scores with 37 minutes left, but were left empty-handed when Terry Antonis netted Sydney’s fourth before the visitors held on with 10 men for the final few minutes.
Sydney FC are 1.75 to win their next game against Newcastle Jets, who are 4.50 with the draw 3.75.
Western Sydney continue to defy logic by being champs in the Asian Champions League and chumps in the domestic competition.
Having won the ACL final in December, they beat Kashima Antlers 3-1 away in midweek to start their defence of the trophy. But they have now lost 11 of their 17 A-League matches and are three points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Last year’s ACL player of the year Ante Covic had a nightmare start to the derby, conceding an own goal in the 10th minute to gift the visitors the advantage. From a Milos Dimitrijevic corner, the ball deflected off defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley onto the woodwork and the rebound struck Covic before finding the net.
Eight minutes later Janko scored his first of the game, poking the ball home after Bernie Ibini’s deflected shot was nudged to him by Chris Naumoff.
It was 3-0 on 24 minutes when Janko got the better of Wanderers central defender Brendan Hamill before side-footing past Covic.
Tony Popovic’s side weren’t about to give up, though, and pulled back two goals before half time.
First Iacopo La Rocca volleyed in from close range after Hamill headed a Yojiro Takahagi free-kick back across goal.
Then debutant Kerem Bulut finished off a move involving Takahagi and Nikita Rukavytsya.
Given renewed hope, the home support saw Wanderers complete their comeback when, eight minutes after the break, Bulut slammed a 25-yard shot past Vedran Janjetovic.
Their hard work was undone when Antonis scored a superb winner, taking the ball past Hamill before firing past Covic into the bottom corner.
Sky Blues striker Mickael Tavares was given his second yellow card for a foul with eight minutes to go, giving the visitors some nervy moments before they secured the three points.
Sydney are 8.00 to beat Newcastle Jets 1-0.
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