Wanderers dreaming of derby final

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Brendon Santalab tussles with Sydney FC players. Picture: Mark Evans

THE only blemish on Sydney FC’s historic A-League campaign came against Western Sydney in a 1-0 loss at ANZ Stadium.

So it’s no surprise Western Sydney’s Robbie Cornthwaite would eagerly embrace a Sydney derby in the finals, saying his side fears nobody after a strong end to the regular season.

The Wanderers had a hard fought 2-2 draw against Adelaide United on Saturday, while the Sky Blues continued their record-breaking season with a 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets.

They’ll have to wait a few weeks before knowing whether a Sydney derby is possible, but Cornthwaite believes it would make for a perfect A-League spectacle.

Brendon Santalab tussles with Sydney FC players. Picture: Mark Evans

Brendon Santalab tussles with Sydney FC players. Picture: Mark EvansSource:News Corp Australia

“They’ve had a fantastic year, no one can say they haven’t,” he said.

“With everything they’ve achieved, full credit to them. But we have beaten them before and picked up a draw in the other game, which we could’ve won as well.

“I think it would be fantastic for the A-League if there was a derby in the finals, or even in the grand final,” he said.

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“There’s a possibility Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City could be playing each other as well, so it would be a massive spectacle for the A-League if there does happen to be a derby.

“I think we’re confident if we come up against anyone – Sydney FC, or whoever it is. We just concentrate on our own game. We’re in reasonably good form and hopefully that can continue.”

Their form has improved recently – they are unbeaten in their last six A-League games – but the Wanderers will still have to rewrite the history books if they hope to win the grand final.

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No team that has finished outside of the top two has ever achieved that, but Cornthwaite says the belief is still there.

That they’ll have to do it on the road having missed out on the luxury of a home final isn’t a concern, because the Wanderers managed just two wins at Spotless Stadium all season.

“Our away form has been better than our home form,” Cornthwaite said. “We’ve been good on the road and we back ourselves against any opposition.

“We’ve become a lot more resilient in terms of not giving anything away when we’re under pressure. That’s going to be key come the finals. It’s a level playing field now, it’s knockout football. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done up to now, all that matters is how you turn up and play for those 90 or 120 minutes.

“We’ve said all along we believe we can make the Grand Final and win it and nothing’s changed.”

Originally published as Wanderers dreaming of derby final

SOURCE: newsnow sport