LNTUP

A-League: Sydney derby ends in a 2-2 draw

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A-League champions Sydney FC have dropped their first points of the season but rallied from a two-goal deficit to force a 2-2 home draw with Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Wanderers twice caught Sydney’s defenders napping on Saturday night, with first-half headers from Oriol Riera and Brendan Hamill.

Bobo pulled a goal back from the penalty spot late in the first half and Josh Brillante equalised just after the hour to set up a thrilling finish watched by just under 35,000 at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney then created more chances but Wanderers also had their moments, though the home team should have won it at the death when substitute Matt Simon headed wide from close range.

Spaniard Riera scored his third goal in as many games, heading in Josh Risdon’s right-wing cross to give the visitors a perfect start.

Stung into action, Sydney enjoyed plenty of territory and possession in the next 20 minutes but struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Captain Alex Brosque had a shot blocked and Brandon O’Neill drove a free kick into the Wanderers’ wall.

The Wanderers were more composed in their passing and covered well in defence in the first half, not giving Sydney the same space in the penalty area as the Sky Blues gave them for the two goals.

They doubled their advantage on the half-hour when Hamill, who went in for the injured Michael Thwaite, nodded in a cross from Alvaro Cejudo, with Sydney’s defence again static.

Sydney received a lifeline in the 37th minute when David Carney was fouled in the penalty area by Chris Herd and Bobo beat former Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic from the spot.

The Brazilian went close towards end of the half when his shot was deflected wide.

Four minutes into the second half and Janjetovic was forced to beat away a close-range shot from Michael Zullo.

Roly Bonevacia missed a glorious chance to restore the Wanderers’ two-goal advantage, driving the ball wide from 10m out in the 57th minute.

They were made to rue that miss four minutes later when Brillante’s strong shot found the net, taking a slight deflection off a Wanderers defender.

Bobo had another shot saved and Brillante’s audacious volley landed on the roof of the net as the home team pressed for a winner.

Kearyn Baccus went close for the visitors in the 80th minute, with his shot going just over the bar as the Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to the season.