Sydney lose blockbuster clash with Jets
Sydney FC were left still searching for their first win of the season after going down 3-2 to Newcastle in a blockbuster encounter that featured both Alessandro Del Piero's and Emile Heskey's first A-League goals.
The highly anticipated clash was billed as the battle between Italian legend Del Piero and former England striker Heskey.
And while they ended their duel level Sydney FC were left winless but not disgraced, in what was a spectacle for the record regular-season crowd of 35,419 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
The match had the atmosphere of a grand final and both teams played as though a trophy was at stake, as they tried desperately to make a statement after opening their 2012/13 campaigns with 2-0 losses.
Ryan Griffiths opened the scoring for Newcastle, with Heskey and Craig Goodwin adding their own for the visitors while Del Piero and Blake Powell found the net for Sydney.
The crowd were left silenced when Griffiths scored Newcastle's first goal of the season after only 11 minutes as a result of a Goodwin corner.
Goodwin's ball into the box deflected off Sydney's Brett Emerton into Griffiths's path who made no mistake.
Sydney were awarded a free kick in the 26th minute when Tiago Calvano brought down Del Piero and the Jets' Brazilian import would come to regret his tackle a minute later when the former Juventus striker levelled the scores.
The entire stadium held their collective breath when Del Piero stepped up to take the free-kick, but soon exploded when his spectacular shot from about 25 metres out hit the back of the net.
But the Jets went 2-1 ahead just before the break when Griffiths got the best of Sky Blues skipper Terry McFlynn to cross the ball to former Liverpool striker Heskey who scored with a sensational volley.
Ruben Zadkovich looked like extending the Jets' advantage just after the re-start with a powerful free-kick forcing a diving save from Sydney gloveman Ivan Necevski.
But it was Goodwin who gave the Jets a 3-1 lead combining beautifully with Griffiths to find the back of the net.
Del Piero tried to get one back for the Sky Blues with half an hour to go with a shot from the outside of his right foot that just shaved past the post.
It was Blake Powell however who found the net again for Sydney in the 74th minute with a skillful header.
Sydney tried desperately to find the equaliser with a flurry of shots in the dying minutes but they were all in vain as the Jets held on.