The 11th season of the W-League kicked off with a bang as Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers went head to head in an intensely physical derby in front of a 1,500 strong crowd at Marconi Stadium.
Like most derbies, both Sydney and WSW brought the heat, but this match up was unlike any other, with several close former team mates facing off as rivals for the first time.
Within the first 10 minutes, both sides flirted with the back of the net and tried to outmuscle each other before first blood was drawn.
The opening attempt at goal came through Sydney FC veteran Lisa De Vanna, with a shot just wide of the net. De Vanna's attack was answered with a header by Leena Khamis, caught on the full by US import, Aubrey Bledsoe.
Sydney FC staple Caitlin Foord tried a header of her own, albeit offside, but sent a stark warning to the red and black army of what was to come.
In the 13th minute Foord nabbed a loose ball from American Savannah McCaskill, catching Jada Whyman off her line. Foord slotted it home for the first goal of the derby and a reminder to her converted Sydney FC to WSW teammates that the Sky Blues take no prisoners.
With the Wanderers only having won one derby, they were out to prove their new-look team were ready to turn the tide, with both Khamis and LaBonta keeping Bledsoe busy in the box.
Before the end of the first half, Sydney captain Teresa Polias collected the first yellow card of the game for a late challenge on Lo’eau Labonta, but she wouldn't be the only one.
Wanderers Labonta, Ledbrook and Cooper picked up a yellow card each within the first 15 minutes of the second half, while teammate Siemsen worked hard in the box, taking on Bledsoe in the 58th minute but coming off second best.
Chloe Logarzo found the back of the net in the 60th minute with some dabbing celebrations to boot, while Labonta came agonizingly close shortly after, hitting the crossbar.
De Vanna out-manoeuvred her WSW defenders, sending a stellar ball to Foord who made it number three for the Sky Blues and two for herself in the 76th minute.
In the end, Sydney FC proved the victors of Round 1, making it six out of seven derbies for the Sydney side, although with the new Wanderers team finding their feet, the best may be yet to come for the red and black.
"It was a good game for us," said goalscorer Logarzo after the match.
"The first 20 minutes were a bit rough but once we got our nerves down and we got comfortable, it was nice being able to bounce off the girls, especially the internationals who we haven't played with for very long, so I'm excited to see what the rest of the year has to hold.
The 23 year-old faced former teammates in the game and added: "It was a really physical game.
"It's been a long time since I've played against Leddy (Ledbrook) and I definitely felt her tonight!"