Wanderers savour sweet victory in local derby

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers did what they haven't done before and that was defeat Sydney FC on their home turf in the local derby in the A-League competition.

They achieved this goal with a stirring 1-0 win at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta, on Saturday night and it was a former Sydney FC player Brendon Santalab who broke the 0-0 deadlock in the 87th minute much to the delight of the 18,080 strong crowd.

The red and black army of supporters went into a frenzy as Santalab's match-winner brought them to their feet.

Santalab, who came into the match as an interchange player, finished off a mis-hit shot at goal from teammate Youssouf Hersi.

The striker pounced on the ball and with his shot sent the ball spiralling into the back of the net.

In a tight and at times dour struggle, Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said after the match he always felt they would win the encounter.

There is a self-belief in the Wanderers team that no matter how tight or tough the contest they have the mental strength to prevail.

The win cemented second place on the A-League ladder on 26 points four behind leaders Brisbane Roar.

Coach Popovic was able to motivate his players for the intense local derby and improve their form after the previous week's shock 3-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta.

The Wanderers didn't have time to celebrate too long as they play a deferred game against Melbourne Victory in Melbourne on Tuesday night then head to Adelaide on Sunday to play Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium in round 16.

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