Sydney FC grounded by Jets in 2-1 loss

Sydney FC will have to wait until after Christmas to give its fans a much-needed present after falling 2-1 to the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium tonight.

Sydney FC will have to wait until after Christmas to give its fans a much-needed present after falling 2-1 to the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium tonight.

All three goals came in a frantic first 45 minutes and despite pushing hard for an equaliser the Jets hung on to claim its first win in five games.

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina made three changes to the side that went down 2-0 last weekend with Pascal Bosschaart and Jason Culina ruled out through injury and Blake Powell moved to the substitutes bench. Terry McFlynn replaced Culina in a straight swap at the base of the midfield, Ali Abbas came in for Powell and Alessandro Del Piero replaced Bosschaart with Rhyan Grant dropping back into defence.

Both teams went into the match on the back of a loss and it was the Jets who settled first after some tough opening exchanges that saw referee Strebre Delovski blow a host of free kicks.

The Jets caused Sydney FC problems down its left hand side through speedster James Virgili, who earned his side a free kick in the 13th minute, which Craig Goodwin curled into the back of the net from an acute angle to open the scoring.

The Jets continued to pepper Sydney FC down the left side and when Virgili skipped past Fabio in the 26th minute he squared the ball for Emile Heskey to tap in from inside the six-yard box to give the home side a 2-0 lead.

Sydney FC made a substitution in the 30th minute when Brett Emerton was forced from the field after suffering from a stomach bug, handing Peter Triantis his Sydney FC A-League debut.

Three minutes later the youngster was the catalyst for Sydney FC-s first goal when he dispossessed Ruben Zadkovich while pressing high in defence. Triantis passed the ball to Del Piero, who released Yairo Yau and the Panamanian international rolled the ball into the back of the net after having his initial shot blocked by Jets ‘keeper Mark Birighitti.

The goal shunted Sydney FC into gear and Triantis almost had an equaliser in the 39th minute when he shot just wide at the far post after a clever Terry Antonis cross.

The teams went to the break with the Jets leading 2-1 and the Sky Blues were forced into a second change with Nathan Sherlock replacing Fabio, who suffered an ankle injury midway through the first half.

Sydney FC started the second half as it finished the first period and almost equalised in the 46th minute when Ali Abbas latched onto a Del Piero pass and his goalbound shot was cleared off the line.

Three minutes later Yau found himself on goal but Birighitti forced him wide and the opportunity was missed by the Sky Blues.

As the second half progressed chances were at a premium but Yau had another great opening when played in by Del Piero in the 79th minute but his shot was blocked by Jets defender Dominik Ritter.

Newcastle on the other hand seemed content just to keep possession and strangle Sydney FC out of the contest but Yau almost caught them on the break again in the 83rd minute when Del Piero once again played him in behind the defence and after rounding Birighitti he fired the ball wide from a tight angle.

The last few minutes provided some helter skelter action as the Sky Blues pushed forward looking for an equaliser but it was to no avail and Newcastle clinched all three points with a 2-1 win.

Sydney FC takes on the Central Coast Mariners on Thursday (December 27) in the annual Christmas match at Allianz Stadium. Kick off is 7.30pm.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Craig Goodwin 13, Emile Heskey 26) d Sydney FC 1 (Yairo Yau 33) Hunter Stadium Crowd: 17,402 Referee: Strebre Delovski

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. FABIO (5. Nathan SHERLOCK ‘46), 7. Brett EMERTON (26. Peter TRIANTIS ‘30), 8. Adam GRIFFITHS, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO, 15. Terry McFLYNN (c), 17. Terry ANTONIS (12. Blake POWELL ‘70), 21. Yairo YAU, 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT. Sub not used: 30. Anthony BOUZANIS (gk). Yellow cards: Fabio 12, A Griffiths 23.

Newcastle Jets: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI, 2. Scott NEVILLE, 5. Dominik RITTER, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Emile HESKEY, 11. Connor CHAPMAN, 12. Joshua BRILLIANTE (18. Jacob PEPPER ‘73), 13. Sam GALLAWAY, 15. Craig GOODWIN (22. Adam TAGGART ‘76), 17. James VIRGILI, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS. Subs not used: 4. Josh MITCHELL, 30. Jack DUNCAN (gk). Yellow cards: Gallaway 60.