Monday 1st January 2018
Kick Off 19.50 Actual 19.56
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 Melbourne City 1, attendance 11,628
25’ 0-1 R. McCormack
30’ 1-1 Oriol Riera
32’ 2-1 M. Bridge
@ ANZ Stadium
Edwin Flack Avenue
Sydney Olympic Park
AUD $37 Admission
Programme, free, 32 pages.
Western Sydney Wanderers were only formed in 2011 and entered the A-League in 2012/13 season, winning the Premiership, as well as contesting the Grand Final. They again reached the Grand Final in 2014, as well as being crowned Asian Champions in their debut Champions League season, becoming the first Australian club to win the tournament.
They play their home matches at two stadiums, dependant on the expected crowd. There is the smaller Sydney Showground Stadium, some 300-400 yards away, or here at the much bigger ANZ Stadium, which hosted the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, when it was known as Stadium Australia. From 2002 to 2007 it was sponsored by Telstra, becoming ANZ Stadium on 1st January 2008. When opened, the capacity was 115,000, but the stadium was re-modelled and capacity was reduced to 83,500, making it the second largest sports stadium in Australia, after the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
At start of play, this was second bottom versus fourth, in the league table, but the win lifts Wanderers above Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar. If they win their game in hand, at home to bottom of the table Wellington Phoenix, they can go level on points with fifth placed Adelaide United.
Melbourne took the lead with a far post tap in from Ross McCormack, but Sydney turned it round with two goals in three minutes on the half hour. Melbourne had the chance to level it up before the break, but McCormack saw his penalty saved by home ‘keeper Janjetovic. After a great first half, the second half was pretty much a non event.
The match was a double header, with the women’s match between the two clubs taking place beforehand, but we didn’t bother with that. It was also another ‘kids go free’ match, but in such a large stadium, it is easy to get away from all the screaming and watch the game in peace !
The same route from Sydney Central Station, out to Lidcombe, then taking the shuttle train to Sydney Olympic Park, was the same as for the basketball at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday night. It was AUD $3.01 outbound, but free to get back into the city, as the match ticket entitles you to free travel to/from the match ( buying a ticket at the stadium on the night saves a AUD $5.85 booking fee, so it is cheaper than buying in advance, even without free travel one way).