Baumjohann desperate to exorcise haunting Wanderers loss 126 days later

Sydney FC may have gone 13 Hyundai A-League matches unbeaten but Alexander Baumjohann is still haunted by the fact their only defeat came against bitter crosstown rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.

German playmaker Baumjohann is set to pull on the Sky Blue jersey against his former club for the second time on Friday, 28 February at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 126 days after Steve Corica’s side fell to a 1-0 Sydney Derby loss at Bankwest Stadium.

That fateful October night in Round 3 is the only blemish on the defending Hyundai A-League Champions' record in a history-making 2019/20 campaign, and also the last time the Red and Black tasted victory in the Harbour City.

The Sky Blues dominated on the night, controlling 68% possession and leading the shot count 21-10, but Daniel Lopar’s heroics in the Wanderers goal ensured Baumjohann went home empty-handed on his return to the club that brought him Down Under.

“I think that was one of our best games, we had so many chances and could have won this game,” Baumjohann said.

“It’s just hard to accept that that’s the only game that we lost.”

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The 33-year-old rocked Australian football when he switched the Red and Black of Western Sydney for their Sky Blue antagonists after a stellar debut Hyundai A-League season in 2018/19.

Baumjohann admits that he expects to feel the wrath of grudge-bearing Wanderers supporters and doubled down on the controversial move by declaring he does not care about his former fans. 

“I think it is normal when you change from one side to the other in a city,” Baumjohann added.

“Not everyone is happy, but I also said this before: I don’t care about them.

“The most important thing is, for me, that our fans love me. This is what I care about.”

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It is easy to place Baumjohann as the centre of attention as the resentful rivals lock horns at a venue where the 13-point ladder leaders are undefeated in their last 13 matches.

But much has changed out west in Parramatta since the German’s departure, including the head coach. New interim boss Jean-Paul de Marigny has changed Wanderers’ fortunes, with two wins and a draw in their last three matches, setting up a mouth-watering clash in Kogarah.

“Derbies are the most important game for the fans and also for us,” Baumjohann added.

“It’s not about me against Wanderers, I think everyone is excited to play this game.

“I played against them this season so it’s just a normal derby and we want to win this game.”

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Round 18

Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday, 28 February
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Kick-off: 8pm AEDT

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