Stunning Del Piero Strike Not Enough For Sky Blues

A stunning first half strike from Italian star Alessandro Del Piero wasn’t enough to stop Sydney FC going down 3-2 at home to the Newcastle Jets.

A stunning first half strike from Italian star Alessandro Del Piero wasn-t enough to stop Sydney FC going down 3-2 at home to the Newcastle Jets.

Buoyed by a record crowd of 35,419, Sydney started the game with purpose. However their fans were silenced after 11 minutes when the Jets took the lead.

McClenahan-s attempt at a headed clearance rebounded off a crowd of players in the penalty area and fell to Ryan Griffiths who fired home.

The Jets almost went further ahead two minutes later when the Sky Blues lost the ball in midfield and Craig Goodwin was sent clear down the Newcastle left. The winger entered the box and his well struck shot cannoned off the bottom of Necevski-s post and away from danger.

Del Piero showed flashes of his magic and the Sydney supporters didn-t have to wait long for his showpiece. After winning a free-kick on the edge of the box, the Italian stepped up to curl a superb shot over the wall and into the top right hand corner, with 26 minutes gone.

The joy didn-t last too long for the home side with Jets marquee Emile Heskey restoring the visitor-s lead just before half time.

Ryan Griffiths collected the ball on the byline and clipped the ball in to Heskey, who struck a right foot shot beyond the reach of Ivan Necevski.

Sydney needed to improve in the second half and came close to an equaliser five minutes in. A brilliant cross field ball from Abbas found substitute Ryall in space. His chest control took him into the box but the defender pushed the ball wide of post.

It was a miss that was to prove costly as Newcastle increased their lead on the hour mark.

The Sky Blues gave the ball away on the halfway line to young livewire Craig Goodwin. He played a one two with Ryan Griffiths to put him clear of the defence where he lifted the ball over keeper Necevski to make it 3-1.

Del Piero almost pulled one back with a sublime piece of skill moments later. The striker took the ball on his chest and made light work of the defender, turning and prodding the ball just past the outside of Kennedy-s post.

The effort galvanised Sydney who came close to pulling one back when Lovrek-s goal-bound shot from a headed clearance was blocked yards from the goal line.

Further pressure followed from Sydney with lively substitute Blake Powell coming close to lifting the ball over Kennedy from an Abbas cross.

Powell, who was making his A-League debut, gave Sydney the lifeline they needed with 17 minutes remaining. Seb Ryall gave the ball to Emerton on the right hand side and his cross to the far post was headed into the ground and across the keeper by Powell, to send the Cove into raptures.

Sydney piled on the pressure and were almost level in the final minutes when Lovrek-s shot was cleared off the line by Bernardo Ribeiro.

The Sky Blues now head to Parramatta Stadium next week for their first derby with West Sydney Wanderers.

Newcastle Jets 3 (Griffiths 11-, Heskey 41-, Goodwin 62-) d. Sydney FC 2 (Del Piero 26-, Powell 73-)

Allianz Stadium Referee: Chris Beath Crowd: 35,419

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski, 3. Fabio, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Adam Griffiths (12. Blake Powell 63-), 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 11. Dimitri Petratos (2. Sebastian Ryall 47-) 14. Mitch Mallia, 15. Terry McFlynn (c) (9. Paul Reid 57-), 18. Trent McClenahan, 19. Kruno Lovrek, 22. Ali Abbas.

Subs not used: 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk) Yellow cards: Petratos (handball), Ryall (foul), Abbas (foul)

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Scott Neville (6. Ben Kantarovski 70-), 3. Tiago Calvano, 4. Josh Mitchell, 5. Dominik Ritter, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey (19. Michael Bridges 77-), 15. Craig Goodwin, 16. Jobe Wheelhouse (c), 17. James Virgili (10. Bernardo Ribeiro 64-), 23. Ryan Griffiths.

Sub not used: 30. Jack Duncan (gk) Yellow cards: Tiago (foul), Ryan Griffiths (foul), Kantarovski (foul)