The scene was set for a blockbuster derby clash at Parramatta Stadium, and neither team disappointed, with Sydney FC edging out cross-town rivals the Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0.
Bragging rights were on the line in this historic encounter and it was Sydney’s marquee man who was to prove the difference.
Alessandro Del Piero threatened to open the scoring for most of the game and did so early in the second-half when referee Strebre Delovski awarded him a 52nd minute penalty.
Del Piero stepped up to the spot and cooly slotted the ball into the net, before he was made to retake the kick for player encroachment in the penalty area.
The Italian maestro wasn’t as convincing second time round, and saw his initial shot saved before blasting home the rebound with his left foot.
Sydney’s goal clearly rattled the Wanderers who had held their own throughout the early stages of the contest.
Adam D’Apuzzo had the best opportunity of the Wanderers when teammate Aaron Mooy threaded a clever through-ball for the fullback.
With little time on the ball D’Apuzzo cracked a thunderous effort which sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
In the 65th minute Wanderers coach Tony Popovic introduced Dutch attacker Youssouf Hersi for the tiring Labinot Haliti.
Hersi made an immediate impact on the game and helped in the build-up play to set up a cross for Dino Kresinger who headed just wide.
As the clock wound down into the final stages, the Wanderers seemed to lift a gear and push for an equaliser in front of a sell-out crowd of 19,126 fans.
Mark Bridge and substitute Tarek Elrich caused the defence plenty of problems but couldn’t convert their chances as the game entered stoppage time.
Captain Michael Beauchamp had one final opportunity for the Wanderers but headed over the bar giving Sydney FC their first win of the season.
Popovic conceded the significance of the occasion may have played on his squad’s nerves.
‘‘Sydney were really aggressive and dominated the first-half of the game,’’ Popovic said.
‘‘I’m disappointed to lose the first derby and they’ve got one over us now.’’
Three games and 270 minutes of football have now passed without a Wanderers goal.
Popovic said it was an area for his team to work on but not something to get nervous about.
‘‘If we weren’t getting into the right areas I’d be concerned,’’ he said.
‘‘But we are putting ourselves in the right position so hopefully something will fall for us.’’