October 13, 2012
Sydney FC lose blockbuster clash with Jets
Two superstar international recruits scored their first A-League goals in a five-goal blockbuster which left over 35,000 spectators thoroughly entertained.
Sydney may have left Allianz Stadium still searching for a win after going down 3-2 to Newcastle on Saturday night but the match will go down as a victory for local football.
The highly anticipated clash was billed as the battle between Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero and former England striker Emile Heskey.
While they ended their duel level, Sydney FC remained winless but not disgraced in what was a spectacle for the record regular-season crowd of 35,419.
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.
"We scored three goals away from home so you should be happy with that and we are ... from last week to this week I think there's a big improvement," Jets coach Gary van Egmond said.
Former Juventus striker Del Piero, who played the full 90 minutes, created many chances for the Sky Blues and had several of his own but it was his first-half equaliser that had the stadium in raptures.
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 Italian levelled the score.
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 went over the Newcastle wall and hit the back of the net.
"I'm happy to score the goal but I play for the win, not to score the goal," a disappointed Del Piero said.
Heskey's goal put the Jets 2-1 ahead just before the break when Griffiths got the best of Sky Blues skipper Terry McFlynn to cross the ball to the former Liverpool striker who scored with a sensational volley.
"It was nice to put in a performance with the lads like we did today and nice to get on the score sheet as well, so an all-round good day," Heskey said.
Goodwin gave the Jets a 3-1 lead in the 62nd minute while Blake Powell, making his first-grade debut for Sydney, replied with a skillful header in the 74th minute for the 3-2 finish.
"We turned the ball over a little too easily in the first half and cost ourselves a couple of goals and then we're chasing the game ... and we probably left it a bit late," coach Ian Crook said.
"The first half was probably where the game was won and lost."
|Sydney FC||Newcastle Jets|
|1 Ivan Necevski||1 Ben Kennedy|
|18 Trent McClenahan||3 Calvano Tiago|
|8 Adam Griffiths||2 Scott Neville|
|3 - Fabio||5 Dominik Ritter|
|15 Terry McFlynn||4 Josh Mitchell|
|22 Ali Abbas||16 Jobe Wheelhouse|
|14 Mitchell Mallia||8 Ruben Zadkovich|
|7 Brett Emerton||17 James Virgili|
|10 Alessandro Del Piero||15 Craig Goodwin|
|19 Krunoslav Lovrek||9 Emile Heskey|
|11 Dimitri Petratos||23 Ryan Griffiths|
|20 Vedran Janjetovic||Jack Duncan 30|
|2 Sebastian Ryall||Ben Kantarovski 6|
|9 Paul Reid||Bernardo Ribeiro 10|
|12 Blake Powell||Michael Bridges 19|
|Sebastian Ryall for Dimitri Petratos (54)||Bernardo Ribeiro for James Virgili (65)|
|Paul Reid for Terry McFlynn (58)||Ben Kantarovski for Scott Neville (71)|
|Blake Powell for Adam Griffiths (64)||Michael Bridges for Emile Heskey (81)|
|Dimitri Petratos (21)||Calvano Tiago (25)|
|Krunoslav Lovrek (32)||Ryan Griffiths (53)|
|Sebastian Ryall (59)||Ben Kantarovski (90)|
|Ali Abbas (67)|
|· Squads: Sydney FC | Newcastle Jets|