July 24 AAP - Alessandro Del Piero has made a promising return for Sydney FC despite the Sky Blues going down 2-1 to Japanese side Sagan Tosu.
The Italian world cup winner played 77 minutes in the centre of a three man Sydney attack as the Sky Blues ramped up their preparations for the 2013/14 A-League season.
But despite playing a key role in Sydney FC's 24th minute goal to Rhyan Grant, Del Piero could not inspire a Sky Blues victory.
A Sagan Tosu goal to midfielder Mizunuma in just the first minute of play gave the hosts the early control of the game before 21,000 fans.
But in playing an up tempo game the visitors were able to fight their way back into the contest and Grant found the equalizer with the assist from Del Piero.
Corey Gameiro, Joel Chianese and Brett Emerton all had their chances to put Sydney ahead before Mizunuma scored his second goal in the 41st minute after heading home a cross from Kiyotake.
Sydney FC looked to have the equalizer in the 58th minute when Chianese found the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box before he was ruled offside.
Wholesale changes stalled the Sky Blues momentum midway through the second half and the home side prevailed.
Newcomers Pedj Bojic, Marc Warren and Gameiro all started for Sydney as did prodigal sons Nick Carle and Matt Jurman.