WESTERN Sydney Wanderers Derby match-winner Brendon Santalab has told of the emotion of Saturday’s win at Stadium Australia.
Santalab scored the only goal in the dramatic 1-0 win over Sydney FC, ending the Sky Blues’ 19-match unbeaten run and 9-run Derby streak.
The Wanderers striker returned to the starting line-up for the game after being left on the bench the previous week, when Western Sydney were beaten by the Central Coast Mariners.
Santalab was overcome with emotion at the final whistle and says a chat with Popovic helped put him in the right frame of mind.
“As a team we spoke about creating great memories at ANZ stadium and I think for a long time from now we will be talking about that match,” he said today.
“It was an incredible night. Scoring my first goal at Stadium Australia is a massive career highlight for me and to do it with a winning goal in a Sydney Derby was a special feeling.
“The pitch was brilliant, the atmosphere electric, what a night!”
Post-match Santalab was mobbed by RBB fans desperate to show their appreciation.
The Wanderers Derby win was witnessed by a crowd of 44,853 fans – the second highest A-League crowd of the season behind the Round 1 Derby at Stadium Australia, and the fourth highest regular-season crowd in A-League history.
Saturday’s match took the Wanderers’ combined two-game Derby crowd at Stadium Australia to an impressive 106,733.
The Derby was played on a pristine pitch that drew praise from the FFA, the clubs, fans and commentators.
Wanderers defender Rob Cornthwaite shared his thoughts on Twitter, summing up the players’ views:
The Wanderers will return to Stadium Australia on Saturday 8 April for their final game of the 2016/17 season at the Stadium, when they take on Melbourne Victory.
The red and black will then be back Saturday July 15 for their blockbuster match v Arsenal.
Santalab took to Twitter last week to express his excitement for the clash.
You can be part of all the Arsenal In Sydney action by snapping up your tickets here.