Arnold: Gameiro strike changed game

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says Corey Gameiro’s goal in first-half stoppage time gave his side the belief they could pull off an incredible derby fightback on Saturday night.

In a pulsating derby in front of a record regular season Sydney crowd, the Sky Blues fought back from an early 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 thanks to Alex Brosque’s late strike. 

It was Gameiro’s classy finish which dragged the home side back into the contest at the end of the first half and they went on with the job after the break to claim local bragging rights. 

“Over 90 minutes we had 15 bad minutes and that’s when they got the two goals,” Arnold said. 

“For me the other 75 minutes was all us. I thought we played some real good stuff. Thankfully we got that goal just before half-time to give us that belief. I said to them at half-time that West Sydney’s had one shot and we’ve got to believe. 

“It’s a great night for our fans, a wonderful occasion, a huge crowd, a record-breaking crowd and to go 2-0 down and send our supporters home with a 3-2 win will stay in their memories for a long, long time.” 

With Mark Janko, Bernie Ibini and Ali Abbas back in the squad after missing the opening round on international duty, the Sky Blues had much more firepower and it showed as the match went on. 

Arnold declared his side is only going to get stronger as his new-look squad continues to gel with the more matches they play.

“We’ve still got to learn when to give him (Janko) the ball at the right time and when he wants crosses put into the box,” the Sky Blues boss said. 

“Bernie Ibini has to get used to playing with different players. It’s a different system than what they played last year as well. 

“It will take time but tonight was definitely a point in the right direction.” 

Arnold also refused to criticize his goal-keeper Vedran Janjetovic, who produced an embarrassing blunder to gift the Wanderers their second goal. 

“Everyone makes mistakes. He’s down about it but he’s got to get on with it,” Arnold said of his shot-stopper. 

“He chose to be a goalkeeper and when they make mistakes that’s what happens. He’ll bounce back, he’s got good character.”